Police arrest R.W. Combs burglar

Amelia Holliday aholliday@civitasmedia.com

August 12, 2014

HAPPY—Teachers and staff at one Perry County elementary school received a shock when they arrived to begin the first full week of classes this school year.

Superintendent Jonathan Jett said a break-in was discovered Monday morning at R.W. Combs Elementary in the Happy Community of Perry County, and, based on surveillance tapes from the campus, had occurred nearly a full day before it was discovered.

“I think it actually happened … early Sunday morning, like maybe 5:30 Sunday morning,” Jett said.

Jett said school officials arrived Monday morning and discovered broken glass inside the school, along with some missing items. he added that no other damage was done to the school.

“It wasn’t any exterior windows in the classrooms, it was mostly interior windows,” Jett said. “Once they gained access to the building there was some windows on the inside that were broken; I don’t know if they were kicked out or what.”

Jett said students were able to stay on their normal schedule that morning.

“Everything was cleaned up. It was cleaned up before students got there, actually,” he said.

Jett added that deputies with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office responded quickly to the scene that morning, something he was very thankful for.

“I think they’ve looked at video footage from the school, so hopefully they’ll be making an arrest soon,” Jett said on Monday.

Deputies were able to make an arrest that same day thanks to the video footage at the school.

According to records at the Perry County Courthouse, deputies arrested 18-year-old Dakota Bates, of Happy.

Bates has been charged with one count third-degree burglary, one count first-degree criminal mischief, and one count theft by unlawful taking more than $500.

WYMT-News reported that deputies were able to recover two laptops from Bates that belonged to the school. Bates reportedly did damages to the school in the amount of $10,000 with the alleged break-in.

Amelia Holliday can be reached at 606-436-5771, or on Twitter @HazardHerald.