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Crime & Courts

Man tries to enter Franklin Middle School in Wheaton, causes lockdown

WHEATON – The Wheaton Police Department is searching for a man who tried to enter Franklin Middle School the afternoon of Oct. 19, causing the Wheaton school to be placed on lockdown.

The lockdown occurred about 1:30 p.m., after a staff member reported seeing a man trying to gain access to Franklin, according to a safety message from Community Unit School District 200. At the direction of the Wheaton Police Department, all District 200 schools were placed in a "secure and teach," where all students and staff are asked to remain in their classrooms and visitors are not allowed in the building, the district said in the message.

The district initially reported that Wheaton police had located the individual, but it did not. During the timeframe of this incident, the police arrested an individual for alleged vehicle tampering near Franklin, but this was not the same person who tried to enter the school, police said in a message on the city of Wheaton's website.

That person is described as a white man in his 50s wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt, a black jacket and credentials, according to the message. He allegedly knocked on a door and tried to enter the school and then unplugged speakers playing music for a PE class, the message stated.

Police said they were still looking to speak with the individual as of just after 5 p.m. Oct. 18 and were talking with the residents of the neighborhood.

The department determined there was no threat to public safety, and the lockdown and secure and teach were lifted about 2 p.m., according to the messages.

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