The Lighthouse Preschool in West Kensington was broken into Monday morning. Classrooms were destroyed, computers stolen, and class pets taken. (Published Monday, Jul 28, 2014)
A Philadelphia preschool was burglarized over the weekend. In addition to stealing computers and food from the Lighthouse Family School, the robbers took the classroom pets of the preschool children.
“Who does this? Who steals from a pre-school?” asked Rivera-Perez, the Director of Programs for the Lighthouse Family School.
Approximately $5,000 worth of supplies, equipment and money was taken according to a representative with the Philadelphia Police Department. The incident occurred between 6 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday.
Investigators say the perpetrator(s) entered through a back window to the school on the 100 block of W. Lehigh Avenue sometime over the weekend. The robbery was not discovered until early Monday morning.
“They ripped open soda machines to take money out,” says Rivera-Perez. “They broke into all of the classrooms, they cut locks…they destroyed everything.”
According to Rivera-Perez, they also took the classroom pets, including a rabbit, guinea pigs, hamsters, and frogs.
“The question I’m dreading the most [from the children] is ‘Where did our rabbit go?’,” she said.
The police have no leads at this time.
The Lighthouse Family School serves almost 266 families daily, providing services to the community through year-round quality early childhood educational services. The school was closed Monday, but Rivera-Perez says they will reopen Tuesday so they can begin regrouping.
Rivera-Perez says both she and the community are devastated about the incident.
“These are people’s nieces and nephews and grandchildren,” Rivera-Perez said. “Why would they hurt us?”
If you have any information on the theft, please call the Philadelphia Police Department.