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Sheriff: Trend of teens breaking into buildings, sharing photos on social media

An incident over the weekend spurred the sheriff to issue a release.
broken window, abandoned building

Benton County Sheriff Troy Heck says his department is dealing with an "ongoing trend" of teens breaking into buildings and taking pictures to post on their social media accounts.

It follows an incident last Saturday, when deputies in Benton County found three 17-year-old boys and two 16-year-old girls who broke into a building at Bend in the River Park, near Rice.

"This incident appears to be another in an ongoing trend among area teens that involves trespassing into empty or abandoned buildings to document their presence inside the building and then share their acts on social media," Sheriff Heck said in a press release. 

Heck says breaking into unoccupied buildings is illegal and can be dangerous because of unknown hazards inside. 

"We hope that by sharing this information, more teens and families are made aware of both the potential legal issues created by this behavior and the risk posed to the safety of those who trespass into these properties," he added.

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The Saturday break-in was reported at 6:45 p.m. by a witness who saw the kids smash a window to get inside a building in the park.

The group of teens told officers that they were at the park to take photos, and that while near the locked building one of the boys broke the window. They then decided to go inside to take more pictures.

The teens were interviewed and released to their parents, but police reports will be sent to the Benton County Attorney's Office seeking burglary and trespassing charges for all five teens. 

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