Three teens arrested for chopping down, damaging trees at Maria Carrillo High

Three teens have been arrested — two from Maria Carrillo High School — suspected of chopping down and vandalizing seven mature trees growing in the Maria Carrillo school quad.

Ironically, the seven trees targeted for destruction had been planted in 2004 to replace a dozen trees chopped down that spring by Maria Carrillo students, said Principal Rand Van Dyke.

In this year's case, Santa Rosa police officers arrested three 17-year-olds on suspicion of felony vandalism.

The three teens were booked into the county's Juvenile Hall, said Santa Rosa police Sgt. Lisa Banayat.

The third student attended Ridgway High School.

In a nighttime raid at the east Santa Rosa campus in late April, five cercis western red bud trees were cut down with an axe and two others were badly damaged. Trash cans also were overturned.

Students and staff arriving to school April 29 found the felled trees.

A sense of anger and loss permeated the campus, said Van Dyke.

School officials asked for students to step forward with information about who could be responsible. An email also was sent to parents.

Within two days school officials provided information to police officers. The Maria Carrillo students were arrested on campus May 1, Sgt. Banayat said.

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