Burglars plague southwest Fort Worth school

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on January 7, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 7:26 PM

Wedgwood Academy

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FORT WORTH — Fort Worth police are searching for the burglars who broke into a non-profit school and stole learning materials and medication, including an iPad and a young boy’s anti-seizure medication. 

Investigators say three or four suspects broke into Wedgwood Academy on Selkirk Drive in southwest Fort Worth on Sunday. This is the fourth break-in in the past month at the small nonprofit school and at Southcliff Baptist Church, which houses it. 

"They just trashed this room. They looted it," says Justin Harris, pointing into an equipment room in disarray.  

One of the victims was eight-year-old Andrew Slagle, who was born with multiple birth defects. His mother, Angie Slagle, says her boy is finally starting to speak and learn. She credits intense therapy, which includes an iPad loaded with apps that help with speech, reading, math and science.

That iPad is now missing, as is his anti-seizure medicine. The church facilities manager says thieves took church laptops, guitars, microphones, computer games and a 47 inch TV. And, for good measure, they broke down 23 doors.

"Mostly kicking them down," says Harris, examining splintered doors leaning against a wall.

He says even unlocked doors were broken.

"Fear is huge," says Principal Rachel Wittich, who founded the school for kids with learning challenges 16 years ago. She says the burglaries frighten her 85 students and 17 teachers.

"It gets to the point where just leave us be," she says. "You've got everything of value."  

She's says it's like the crooks are taunting them.

Surveillance video from New Year's Day shows three or four burglars casually hanging out in the church annex all afternoon.  They wear hoodies most of the time.

One of them is seen carrying a bag of $300 from a youth group pizza party.  Another is seen with a bag of computer games.  

If you have information on the burglaries, contact Fort Worth Police or Crimestoppers at 817-469-8477.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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