DERRY — A watchful neighbor called police early Monday morning to report activity from inside a vacant school building on Highland Avenue.
The former Charles M. Floyd Elementary School at 37 Highland Ave. has been empty since 2005, so noise and lights coming from the building aroused suspicions.
Police arrived around 1:45 a.m. Monday and made the same observations as the caller, Derry police Capt. Vern Thomas said.
Someone had forced open a side window and a door was ajar, he said.
Responding officers surrounded the building and ordered whoever was inside to come out.
One suspect ran out an exit door and into the nearby neighborhood, Thomas said. The second suspect started to climb out a third-floor window, but when he saw an officer below, he retreated then ran out a door, he said.
Derry officers and a N.H. State Police K-9 unit searched the neighborhood and found the two suspects.
Junius Butler, 42, of Manchester and Anthony Yarbrough, 25, of Northfield were arrested.
Yarbrough is charged with burglary and resisting detention. Butler is charged with being an accomplice to burglary.
Inside, police found copper piping cut and piled in corner of the building, Thomas said. Tools used to cut the pipe were found nearby.
A van, believed to belong to the suspects, was found on nearby Severance Street and impounded.
The two men were arraigned Monday in 10th Circuit Court in Derry. Butler is being held on $20,000 cash or surety. Yarbrough is being held on $2,000 cash or surety.
Both are scheduled for probable cause hearings on May 8.
The building is owned by Extended Realty LLC, which received Planning Board approval a year ago to convert the former school into 19 apartments.
Just last week, planners granted the property owners a six-month extension on that permit.
The school, which had eight classrooms, was named for New Hampshire’s 59th governor.