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Howard County police are investigating a break-in at an Ellicott City high school that resulted in painting of racist symbols inside the building and the theft of $5,200 in property.

The incident took place inside a portable classroom at Mount Hebron High School, in the 9400 block of Old Frederick Road, about 4 a.m. Sunday, according to police, who said they did not have any suspects.

In addition to taking computers and other equipment, the vandals spray-painted swastikas and "KKK" inside the classroom, according to police. The damage as a result of the crime is estimated at an additional $3,000, police said.

"It's obviously deplorable," said school system spokeswoman Patti Caplan. "We're hoping the police are able to identify the perpetrators. The destruction of property is bad enough, but when you add the racial epithets - it makes it all the more offensive."

The school is equipped with security cameras, but it is unknown whether the cameras were in an area that would allow investigators to identify the perpetrators.

A $300 reward is being offered for information that leads to identification and arrest. Anyone with information is being asked to call (410) 313-STOP.

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