Three young vandals broke into Herbert Slater Middle School in east Santa Rosa last weekend, ransacking classrooms and splashing them with orange paint and chocolate syrup before being caught by a security guard and Santa Rosa police officers.

Santa Rosa City Schools officials did not have an estimate Thursday for the cost of repairing the damage, but said most of it was superficial.

The boys, whose ages and names were not disclosed, broke into the middle school around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, according to a report by a security guard with ESP & Alarms, a local security company.

An alarm went off, alerting the guard, Andrew Taeuffer. When he arrived, he saw several people leave the area on bikes, according to the report. He checked out the school and found orange paint splattered on the walls, floors and papers in the wood shop.

In the nearby art room, he found chocolate syrup splashed on the walls, floor and furniture. The vandals had upended some items and tossed others around, leaving broken glass on the floor, he said.

Back outside, he saw that a window about 15 feet from the ground had been broken.

He called police, who searched the building. They could not find anyone on the campus.

A little more than an hour later, the school's alarm sounded again. Taeuffer called police, who arrived quickly and caught three suspects who tried to flee, according to the report.

Santa Rosa police on Thursday could not say whether the youths had been arrested or were still in custody, as a report had not been completed and the officers involved were off-duty.