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Daycare vandalism

Child looters trash California day care center in ‘disturbing vandalism’ incident

by Jody Jameson, Contributor

Children as young as 7 years old were arrested

Five children, ages 7 to 11, were arrested for vandalizing a day care center in Southern California, causing $25,000 in damages.

The Port of Los Angeles’ World Tot LA day care center in San Pedro, a non-profit child care center, was forced to shut down in the wake of the February 26 incident forcing parents whose children attend the day care, aged from 6 weeks to 4 years old, to find other arrangements for the week, according to a report by Fox News.

Authorities believed the vandals trashed the center sometime around Sunday afternoon, but the destruction was not discovered until 6:30 a.m. Monday morning, according to Daily Breeze. The damages included flipped over tables and chairs, and ink toner and dry baby formula thrown everywhere. The kids even drew obscenities on the walls.

Large quantities of toys, diapers, formula, food and other supplies had to be thrown away during the clean-up process. A hazmat team was brought in to help clean up the wreckage.

Port of Los Angeles spokesman Phillip Sanfield said that the damage was estimated to be over $25,000. This number doesn’t include the costs caused to the parents who had to find other arrangements for their children, or the paid leave for the teachers who lost a week of work.

“There was extensive damage to the whole facility — everything was ransacked, there were broken mirrors, things turned over, powdered formula spilled, fire extinguishers all discharged. Multiple ink toners were dumped all over the facility, into drawers, on the carpets. Obscenities were on the walls. It was disturbing on many levels.”

The vandals were brought in by authorities and turned over to the Juvenile Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The day care center is run by the Harbor Area YWCA. President Julie Huerta said that the destruction was made worse after finding out how young the vandals were.

“They did some really serious damage and, unfortunately, we found out that they’re very young assailants which just brings another level of heartbreak to this whole thing.”

Officials have not revealed how the vandals were identified, but it was reported that one of the assailants may have had a key to the center.

The day care center is expected to reopen on Monday.

Jody Jameson is up-and-coming journalist who's been featured in national news publications for her in-depth crime stories coverage. Her passion lies within helping women and children, in hopes of bringing awareness to abuse, exploitation, and rights violations. In her personal time, Jody has done summer volunteer work at The Boys and Girls Club, and worked as a peer assistant for PALS, a program that assists underprivileged kids. During her time in sorority, Kappa Kappa Gama, Jody volunteered in the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program, which raises money to supply books to children in need.