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Hibbard Elementary School first graders help law enforcement investigate leprechaun caper

MADISON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - On this St. Patrick's Day, when the first graders came into their class room, they found a crime scene. A leprechaun had broken into their classroom and left it a mess.

"Everything in the room including the chairs and tables were flipped upside down," says one of the first grade students from Mrs. Carolyn Gentile's class.

Sergeant Isaac Payne of the Madison County Sheriff's office says they were first alerted to it early in the morning and arrived fairly quickly.

"We had a report of a break in at the Hibbard Elementary School," Payne said. "So there were a couple classrooms that required our attention. And we got with the students, we cordoned off the area, secured our crime scene."

Sergeant Payne says he needed the help of the students in order to solve this unique case.

"We gloved up. We deputized all the students, of course, to make it official and collected the evidence. We deduced who are suspect was. There were some theories about maybe elves or other things, but it was it was agreed upon that our suspect is probably a leprechaun, approximately, according to the witness, anyway, approximately three feet tall, male red beard wearing green."

Students say the suspect in this particular break-in may still be there.

"After we cleaned up the mess, the glue sticks were face up where they are supposed to," a student said. "And then I look at them again and they're facing upside down. So we think it's still there."

The students say the leprechaun has caused some of their traps to break, so they came up with another plan.

"Just going to put a gate and then lower down," another student said.

The students hope to have secured the culprit into custody by the end of their school day.

Sergeant Payne says today was part of how the sheriff's office is trying to reach out more into the community.

"It's all part of getting out to the schools as much as we can, getting face time with the students, so that should they ever actually need our help, we're a friendly, familiar face to them," Payne said.

Payne also says for members of law enforcement interactions like this not only create those positive experiences for the students in the 1st grade class but it also makes the job of law enforcement a little more light heartened.

"A lot of times we see people on their very worst day and we deal with a lot of really bad things. So it's nice once in a while to get to do something that's fun, to interact in a positive way and to show that there's other things that we can help our community in and other engagements that we can have them in other than the negative. So it's one of the most fun things we can do is interact with the kids."

The kids were reminded to either call the sheriff's office or follow the leprechaun to his pot o' gold. Something the kids seemed keen on.

"Find him and take all his gold. And then we're going to eat it because it has chocolate inside."

Article Topic Follows: Rexburg
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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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