Preschool owner believes candy, toilet paper thief was homeless

Daycare Burglary
Updated: Apr. 18, 2017 at 9:37 PM CDT
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ALGIERS, LA (WVUE) - An Algiers preschool owner who was the victim of a burglary on Easter Sunday believes the man who broke into her building was homeless by his actions and the items he took.

"I just think it was an incident that happened where someone was looking for a place to sleep and some food to eat. He happened to find both and took advantage of that," Sonya Joseph said.

Around 11 p.m., a man climbed through what was believed to be an unlocked window at Clara's Little Lambs Preschool Academy on Casa Calvo, and he did not leave until the next morning. Joseph owns the preschool with her family and said she thought it was a false alarm that triggered at the school. Her security company reset the system, but when her employees got to campus Monday morning, they noticed something was not right.

"When the teacher came, she saw the mat and the plastic bag filled with stuffed animals," Joseph said.

The man used the bag of stuffed animals as a pillow andrifled through the school's refrigerator.

"The good news is we were closed for the week, so there were a lot of leftovers and stuff from the previous week that he took. The teachers said they had water in there. There was bread in there. There was some type of luncheon meat in there. There was candy that was leftover from our Easter egg hunt, so he took that and ate that," Joseph said.

Video surveillance from inside the campus shows the man made himself a place to sleep and slept for about seven hours until the sun came up. The man then used the window that he broke into to escape just as teachers and children started to arrive for class.

"You can have surveillance cameras up, and it just doesn't matter. They do what they want to do. They don't have any respect for authority or anyone," said parent Decarlas O'neal-Johnson. "I feel very comfortable with the school and their policies and procedures and how they informed parents."

"It's kind of comical. It felt like, you know, those videos that you see, dumb criminals, because here is this guy standing here looking directly into the camera not realizing he's being videotaped but at the same time, it's pretty sad to think that this person just needed a warm place to sleep," Joseph said.

The man jumped out the window with two bags filled with water, toilet paper, paper towels and candy.

"Fortunately, none of the kids were here. None of the kids were harmed. None of the teachers were harmed. None of the teachers were affected by it and that's what are main concern is," Joseph said. "Parents just wanted to know that their kids were safe and the good news is that no child was ever endangered. I contacted state licensing and told them what happened."

NOPD has not released if the man in the video has been arrested.

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