Mount Dora High School vandalized, items for graduating seniors stolen

Police are investigating after discovering Mount Dora High School was vandalized and burglarized early Thursday morning.

“I don’t know who would do such a thing,” said senior Kristen Ives.

The district says the culprits did thousands of dollars in damage and stole donated items that were supposed to go to seniors for ‘Project Graduation.’

“Project Graduation is an event designed to keep seniors safe and off the streets the night of graduation,” said parent Addie Owens.

She says seniors can win big at the event. Electronics like TVs and laptops are among what’s typically donated by the community. Police have not said exactly what was stolen.

“The prizes were  designed to be an incentive to get kids in the door. If it just a gym full of music – they’re not going to come,” Owens explained.

Now she and other parents are asking for people to pitch in again, with only two weeks until graduation to try and make things right for the kids.

“We’ve had several phone calls, we’ve already had donations to our office, we’ve had an anonymous check of $3,500 which is great, it’s really going to cover the meat of what was lost so we’re really excited,” she said.

The party will go on, as the search for who’s responsible continues. 

“It’s still an active investigation – they’re going through everything, going through the evidence, the crime scene, just trying to put the pieces together,” said Mt. Dora Public Information Officer Lisa McDonald.

Officials have not said whether they think a student may be to blame. The district says they have been asking students over the loud speaker to come forward with any tips.