SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13) – Three teenagers allegedly vandalized the playground of Robla Preschool over the weekend.
Now the school district faces thousands of dollars in repairs.
“It was devastating to see,” said Laura Lystrup, Director of Early Learning and Special Education Programs for Robla School District. “It’s just horrific to think that would be somebody’s entertainment!”
According to Sacramento Police Department, an officer initially responded to an alarm going off on campus around 5 p.m. Sunday. The teens had broken into Bell Avenue Elementary School through a window. They rummaged through the electronics, damaging the sound and the WiFi systems, police said.
Then, they hit the playground next door at Robla Preschool.
“We had a play area in this center of that circle,” Lystrup said. “They had a little village here and then they would go over there and there was another set of Little Tikes houses.”
But when Lystrup arrived at the school Monday morning, she found nothing but destruction on the playground.
“It was smashed in pieces, strewn across the lawn, put in piles,” she explained. “They had taken adult benches and put them on top of it!”
She told CBS 13 she didn’t understand why the items were not taken but destroyed beyond repair.
Initially, the teens fled, but using the help of a helicopter, officers tracked them down in a nearby trailer park. They were arrested for burglary and placed in a juvenile detention center.
“They did an extensive amount of damage,” Lystrup explained. “Probably about $4,000 in equipment for students that is used for play!”
Employees tried to salvage what was left of the equipment but Lystrup told CBS13 it’s now unusable because it does not meet safety standards.
Mom Leila Steffens heard what the teens did Monday afternoon when she picked up her daughter from school.
“Honestly, I would have made them come clean it up!” she said.
Now, she’s distraught knowing her 3-year-old daughter Madeline is playing on an empty playground.
“If any of the stores could step up and donate some [playground sets], it’d really be helpful and amazing for the kids,” Steffens told CBS 13.
But as much as Lystrup appreciates the call for support, she says Robla School District has already offered to help address the situation.
Sacramento Police say it’s up to the District Attorney’s office to determine whether or not the three teens will be charged with burglary.