Police: Pope John Paul II portrait defaced at closed Catholic school in Milford
MILFORD — Police are investigating a series of burglaries and vandalism to the former Saint Gabriel Elementary School that has caused “thousands of dollars in damage,” Officer Marilisa Anania said Tuesday.
The school, located at 1 Tudor Road, has not been in operation since 2016, but is still used for small events.
The vandalism at the school included a defaced portrait of Pope John Paul II, who died in 2005, Anania said.
“The vandals have caused thousands of dollars in damage to windows, doors, and property,” over the last several months, police said.
“Detectives are currently reviewing video and investigating leads. Once identified, the individuals responsible face felony burglary and vandalism charges,” police said.
The school’s fate was a concern since 2014 because of declining enrollment, increasing costs and reduced church collections. Enrollment had declined from a high of 219 in the 2008-09 school year to 139 in 2016.
At the time of its closing, Dale Hoyt, the superintendent of in the Hartford Archdiocese, said the school was built in the 1960s, during the height of Catholic education.
“Now, religious orders no longer staff the schools, which means hiring lay personnel, which means higher salaries and benefits,” he said at the time.
Anyone with any information can contact Detective Mitchell Warwick at 203-783-4730 or firstname.lastname@example.org (case# 4605-20, 3209-20)