Daycare and church targeted in hate crime
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida daycare and church were robbed and violated by vandals who left behind messages of hate.
Employees at the daycare said they think the vandals were motivated be hate. "They called us about two weeks ago," said an employee named Anne, "and told us to get the (expletive) out of the neighborhood, to pack our things and leave. That's what they said before all of this happened."
The apparent hate crime happened around 3 a.m. Sunday and forced parents of the children enrolled at Little Leapers Childcare Center to find somewhere else for their children to go on Monday. "To call a parent today," said Director Shandra Wilson, "and explain that they have to find a place to take their kids tomorrow, they may even lose their jobs."
Three red swastikas, albeit drawn incorrectly, defaced the building where children go to learn, play and feel safe. "To think that people just do this because they hate people because of their race just doesn't make sense," said Anne. "You don't do this to kids, you don't. Just because you want to rule the world. One race can't rule the world by themselves. You just can't rule the world."
The swastikas have since been painted over. However, on the inside, a fire gutted out the cafeteria. Expensive electronics like televisions and camera equipment were stolen from the place they used to pray. "They tried to burn the entire building down," said Wilson. "But I guess the fire just got to the cafeteria. Then they stole all the items from the back, which is our church."
Meanwhile, employees have tried to swallow what has happened to them and how it will affect innocent children. "To do this to kids? You don't do this to kids. Children need places to go. That's evil. That's hate. You're hating people because they're of another race. That's what this is all about."
As much at $50,000 worth of equipment was taken. Police are still investigating.
If you have any information on who started this fire and vandalized the daycare and church, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.
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