Vandals broke into historic Belton Court at the former Zion bible college in Barrington sometime early last week and spray-painted walls, pulled down book shelves, broke a sculpture on a railing, smashed a light in a hallway, and discharged three fire extinguishers.
The damage was reported to Barrington police on Christmas morning, Dec. 25, by a caretaker, said Police Chief John LaCross.
The vandalism is believed to have occurred sometime between Monday, Dec. 23, and Christmas morning, LaCross said.
Cost of the damage was not known, perhaps several hundred dollars to clean up the mess and remove the red and blue spray paint from the walls, said LaCross.
The vandals are believed to have smashed a basement window to enter the vacant building, which is owned by Liangming Qi, of 11 Kings Grant Road, Weston, Mass. He purchased the former college campus for $3.5 million in the fall of 2011 under the corporation known as Shine Harmony Holdings. His plan then was to open some type of boarding school or academy primarily for college-age Chinese students.
The caretaker found a door wide open around 9:45 am on Dec. 25, LaCross said. She called soon after discovering the mayhem in the basement.
Most of the vandalism was confined to the basement level, LaCross said.
Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to call the confidential police Tip Line at 437-3933.