PEORIA, AZ - Peoria police are investigating a burglary at a preschool that left children with a nearly empty playground.
Lil Pardners Childcare and Preschool is located on 99th Avenue near Peoria Avenue.
Joanna Allan, Assistant Director, discovered their stuff had been stolen when she reopened the facility Monday morning. It was closed over the weekend.
Allan said a padlock was removed from the back gate. Toys, bikes, furniture, a slide, and other playground equipment were taken.
The daycare director estimates the loss to be nearly $5,000. It appears to have happened after midnight Saturday.
"It's disheartening," Allan said. "These kids love it outside. (These thieves) broke a lot of hearts."
It appears that at least two people were involved. Surveillance video captured crooks carrying toys out of the yard. Their faces were not visible in the video. A report was filed with Peoria police.
The director of the daycare believes thieves pulled a truck into a back alley to load up. There are homes adjacent to the alley. She's asking that neighbors call police if they saw anything.
Allan estimates it could be weeks before toys and equipment are replaced. The daycare is trying to figure out if their insurance company will cover the costs.