Principal catches burglar in act from afar

Dzantik’i Heeni principal sees intruder on security camera, calls police

One of four windows that show damage on the backside of Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

On Saturday, Feb. 17, Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School Principal Molly Yerkes caught a burglar breaking into the school — and Yerkes wasn’t even there.


Watching security camera footage of the school from a remote location away from the school, Yerkes called the Juneau Police Department at 8:17 p.m. on Feb. 17 to report a burglar inside the school, according to charging documents. Officers arrived on the scene to find Shawn Travis Beaird, 34, as he attempted to escape out a window of the school.

Officers arrested Beaird, who was out of custody on release for a separate burglary where he allegedly broke into two businesses near the Nugget Mall on Jan. 19. That case is still active.

Beaird admitted to officers in this case that he had broken into the middle school to steal money, according to criminal information filed in Juneau Superior Court JPD Officer Lee Phelps. He used tools to pry open windows to enter the building and then force open doors inside the building, according to charging documents.

Once he was in the school, Beaird told officers, he stole money from vending machines and the school office area. According to charging documents, Beaird had $45.55 in coins and $95 in dollar bills in his jacket. Beaird was taken to Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

Officers searched the school, finding damage to three windows that was estimated at $3,000. Beaird had also done an estimated $7,500 of damage to two vending machines, according to charging documents. Damage was originally estimated at $4,500.

Beaird was indicted Friday on charges of first-degree burglary (a class C felony), third-degree criminal mischief (a class C felony), fourth-degree theft (a class B felony) and violation of conditions of release (a class A misdemeanor).

• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


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