Security footage shows man breaking into YDI Head Start campus | KOB 4
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Security footage shows man breaking into YDI Head Start campus

Kassi Nelson
July 10, 2019 06:34 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- New security cameras, fences topped with barbed wire and heavy-duty locks weren’t enough to keep a man from vandalizing and stealing from YDI Head Start’s campus, La Mariposa, on Mountain Road.

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Now, the nonprofit that helps the community’s most vulnerable children is asking for the community’s help.

“We just really want to put a stop to this activity,” said Debra Baca, vice president of early childhood education and family development.

Baca said a man, caught on surveillance, has terrorized them for too long. He’s hit their Mariposa location five times in the past year and a half. They have to use money from their budget to clean up his damage, but it’s the kids who end up paying the price.

“It's unfortunate that we have to utilize our money in that way when it could be used for the classroom or other supplies for the children,” Baca said.

The latest incident, on July 4, was caught on surveillance video. It shows the man slithering through a gap in the bottom of a fence. He spray painted the camera before breaking in to the walk in freezer and taking off with what he could carry.

“Unfortunately, when something like this happens, we are forced to dump all the food that’s in there because we can’t guarantee that it hasn’t been tampered with,” said Mari Garcia, lead service specialist.

That might be the only food that the kids who utilize Head Start’s summer services get during their day. The nonprofit feeds dozens of kids three meals before sending them home for the night.

Surveillance video from June shows the man again. That time he was smashing windows out of their school buses, stealing wires and batteries.

They’ve hung warning signs for parents, and for the thief. One recently hung on their walk in freezer reads, “STOP! You’re stealing from children.”

“It's really disheartening only because it's obvious that we are a school and the children are the ones who are being impacted by this,” Garcia said.

Baca and Garcia said they can’t catch this man alone. They’ve reported the break-ins to police, but they need the community to be on the lookout too.

“It's a federal offense when you're stealing or taking things from a federal facility,” Baca said.

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Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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