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Hampstead man faces burglary charges after ransacking the former North Carroll High School

Xavier John Shaffer
Xavier John Shaffer

A Hampstead man faces multiple charges for burglary following a break-in at the former North Carroll High School in Hampstead, which houses the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office Training Academy.

Xavier John Shaffer, 20, of the 4100 block of Murphy’s Run Court, was charged with one count of burglary in the fourth degree, with the intent to commit theft, one count of burglary in the fourth degree, breaking or entering into a store, one count of malicious destruction of property with a value over $1,000, one count of theft between $100 to under $1,500, and one count of burglary in the second degree. Shaffer posted a $7,500 bail on Sunday and was released.

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No items were missing or damaged from the training academy, which takes up one section of the former school. The facility, including its gymnasium, still hosts some sporting events and a wrestling tournament was being held over the weekend.

According to the statement of probable cause, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of the break-in early Saturday morning. Police found the concessions area to be in disarray, with candy and chips missing or scattered around the lobby and money from the concession stand missing. The concession table was also found turned over, along with the tournament seating in the gymnasium and the speaker amplifier used for announcements, valued at $400, was missing. It was unclear what the total value of the concession items that were lost or damaged.

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On the second floor of the building, investigators found a drywall section torn off the wall and lying on the floor, along with a small section of drywall that was left near the bottom of the wall broken and in pieces. The estimated costs of damages exceeded $1,000. Police also later found the a broken microphone from the missing amplifier, according to the statement.

As police assessed the damaged and missing items, they found two broken emergency exit signs on the floor in the hallway, an old security camera ripped out of the ceiling and lying on the floor and a desk in a stairwell. On the third floor, it was apparent a fire extinguisher had been dispensed, as if while someone was running down the hallway. Two more extinguishers were also missing and the women’s bathrooms were coated in fire suppression material, as was every surface of the auditorium. Police also found a filing cabinet open and on its side in front of the stage and North Carroll High School honor role student bumper stickers were strewn on the ground, according to the statement.

Surveillance video captured three subjects; one white male wearing a pink hooded sweatshirt with a frowning cartoon face on the front similar to that of the brand sold by DJ Marshmello, the second individual was another white male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with printed words “bear tooth" and “disease” on the top and bottom of the sweatshirt and the third was a white male wearing a red and black flannel shirt, beige pants and black black shoes with white stripes on them. All three subjects were seen leaving through the old staff entrance and walking toward a dark-colored sedan in the parking lot, according to the statement.

Police received an anonymous tip about Shaffer, including a Snapchat picture, that they believed depicted the description of the first subject from the security footage. Police learned that one of the vehicles registered to Shaffer matched the vehicle from the crime scene. Police stopped Shaffer while operating a Honda Accord and detained him. According to the statement, Shaffer was wearing the same clothing as was visible in the video footage and a search of the vehicle and a residence allegedly revealed items taken from the former school. Shaffer was arrested.

According to the statement, two other suspects were identified. The investigation is ongoing, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Shaffer, who could not be reached for comment, has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 14 according to electronic court records.

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