FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A Southwest Fort Worth church and school for special needs children is targeted by burglars not just once, but four times in the past month.
The latest break-in happened early Monday morning.
The thieves are using rocks to shatter back windows to the buildings at Wedgwood Academy and Southcliff Baptist Church, which houses the non-profit school.
Once inside, they knock down doors to the classrooms and offices and start taking anything they can.
“They felt comfortable enough,” says Facilities Director Justin Harris watching surveillance video. “They were messing with the pool tables. They had no worries at all.”
Surveillance video shows four men and possibly a woman wearing hoodies and making their way through the church.
One even takes out a trash bag from a can and dumps the stolen things in it.
Another breaks an air conditioning unit and carries it to the playground.
He hides it and then crawls into the building.
“It’s pretty awful that you have to treat a church like it’s a bank. You have to lock it up tight every night,” says Harris “It’s really heartbreaking and frustrating.”
The thieves have gotten away with laptops, guitars, computer games, microphones and food from the church.
The academy which has 85 students and which specializes in teaching children with learning disabilities has been targeted specifically the medications for the children.
“It’s very disheartening. You lose your sense of security. This is supposed to be a very safe place we provide for these children, who want a safe place to be,” says Rachel Wittich Director of Wedgwood Academy.
The thieves took eight-year-old Andrew Slagle’s iPad, along with his seizure medication.
He was born with several birth defects.
His mother says he’s made huge strides with intense therapy and his iPad.
“This is what he knows, and so not to have that…He’s not good with writing. When he is able to use his fingers and manipulate to learn. It’s just sad. It’s really sad that we don’t have it here now,” says Andrew’s mother Angie Slagle from Fort Worth. “I don’t understand why anyone would want to steal from a school, especially a special needs school.”
The church installed an alarm system and added extra security. About $20,000 to $25,000 in equipment has been stolen.
Crews were cleaning up all day and trying to get the doors back on. School starts Wednesday.
If you have any information about the break-ins call Fort Worth Police at 817-469-8477.
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