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Teens armed with BB guns arrested in Denver school standoff

DENVER (Reuters) - Denver police arrested two teenage boys early on Tuesday after they broke into a middle school carrying BB guns that looked like assault rifles and refused to leave for several hours.

The two 15-year-old boys, each carrying a school bag and what a witness described as long rifles, were seen breaking into the Rachel B. Noel Middle School in Colorado's largest city late on Monday, Denver Police Chief Robert White told reporters at a press conference early on Tuesday.

The school was unoccupied at the time, officials said.

Police units, including a SWAT team and bomb squad, located the weapons and bags, which contained items the youths apparently intended to steal, including a computer, Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson told Reuters.

The pair had ransacked several classrooms, Jackson said. Police later confirmed the weapons were BB guns, he said.

At one point, a police helicopter shined a spotlight on the outer building, and a bomb robot searched within.

When police arrested the boys after several hours of trying to talk them out using the school's public address system, they were unarmed and bagless, police said.

The boys had earlier smashed a window at a nearby school but had not entered, police said.

Schools are open and starting on time, according to Denver school district spokeswoman Kristy Armstrong.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson and Karen Brooks; Editing by Vicki Allen and Lisa Von Ahn)

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