2 arrested breaking into closed Pontiac school for Instagram photos

- Two men were arrested for breaking into an abandoned school, telling police they were there to take pictures for social media.

The sprawling Jefferson Whittier School on Motor Street in Pontiac has been closed for more than five years. It's the kind of abandoned building urban explorers find enticing, but the problem is that urban exploring often requires breaking and entering - and that's illegal.

Just shortly after midnight Thursday, Oakland County Sheriff's deputies busted two men in the school, a 17-year-old man from Macomb Township and a 21-year-old man from Eastpointe.

"They said they were some sort of Instagram or social media explorers," said Sgt. Stephen Dooley, Oakland County Sheriff's Office. "And they were going around and looking online for abandoned buildings to go in and write things on the walls or blackboards and take pictures for their social media site," said Sgt. Stephen Dooley.

The suspects set off an alarm when they broke through a glass panel in a door and the sheriff's office says it wasn't hard to find them.

"They left their Jeep on another street right near the school, with the keys in it," said Dooley. "So luckily their car wasn't stolen."

Footsteps in the snow led investigators directly from the car to the abandoned school where they found the suspects roaming around inside with flashlights.

"They don't really realize how dangerous these spots are," Dooley said. "While it seems cool on social media, it is not a good idea. This is typical of youth; they don't think beyond their actions. They don't realize it's a crime and it's going to charged as such."

Both men were detained in the Oakland County Jail being bonded out.
 

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