Special needs learning center burglarized - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Special needs learning center burglarized

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FORT WORTH, Texas -

A church that houses a school for special needs students was burglarized multiple times in the past month.

Angie Slagle's son Andrew was born with multiple birth defects. He didn't start talking until he was 7 years old. But Wedgewood Academy in South Fort Worth has helped him achieve beyond his doctor's expectations.

"This is the school that provides a safe haven, allows us to help our kids," Slagle said.

Wedgewood Academy is a private school with about 85 special needs students. The space is rented from South Cliff Baptist Church.

Since December, the church's annex building where the school is housed has been burglarized three times. The most recent burglaries were over the weekend.

School director Rachel Wittich said the crimes have put everyone on edge.

"When you're a teacher, you do a lot of work after hours to prepare for the next day. I don't want to do that anymore," she said.

Justin Harris is in charge of facilities for the church. He's the one that oversees repairs of all the smashed doors and broken windows.

"This is the door. It's solid metal. They pushed it so hard they bent it," he said.

Based on the surveillance video, Harris believes there are five suspects between the ages of 17 and 25.

On New Year's Day the cameras recorded them spending about four hours inside the annex stealing cash, music equipment and even clothes.

Sunday night for the first time they broke into the main building.

"My biggest fear is they'll be bold enough to come here during school," Slagle said.

The iPad her son uses to learn was stolen. The thieves also took computers, TVs and other equipment from the school.

"We have to make do with what we have," Wittich said.

The church is working on a better security system so all the people and their stuff stay safe.

A camera caught a vehicle believed to be the suspects' car. It's described as a late model beige sedan, maybe a Nissan Altima.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police.

 

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