IDAHO FALLS — A daycare that just bought brand new outdoor toys and equipment for its kids is now left with several thousand dollars worth of damage after an incident of vandalism.
Kids Korner Preschool & Daycare, located off of 14th Street in Idaho Falls, has been around for 13 years. The director of the preschool, Tiffany Andra, said she has never had an issue like this before. She said an unknown group of kids came to the daycare while it was closed and damaged the property.
“I was just really shocked that these kids are coming into a private business … and literally just destroying it. They had no other intention besides destroying stuff,” said Andra. “It was very sad to see.”
Andra said they had bought new equipment for the kids at the daycare and had the toys installed on Friday.
“We have a guy that comes up from Utah. He comes once a year, and he has a truckload of toys that he sells to the daycares and schools. We just ordered two of them. He put them in our yard and had installed them,” she said.
The toys included a teeter-totter and merry-go-round tricycles.
None of the daycare kids were able to use them on Friday due to the weather with thunderstorms and rain. However, Andra noticed there was damage to the toy installations later and checked security camera footage.
She saw four young boys that she believes are between the ages of 9 and 11 come onto the property on Saturday.
“It started about 8:45 in the morning and went until about 10:46 and then they came back again around 1:30 p.m. and they just kind of owned the toys,” she said.
Andra explained the kids were seen in surveillance video kicking the toys around and throwing them.
“They went into the back of our parking lot and got into a little toddler Flintstone car and rammed them into our lawnmowers and the side of the building and they were kicking and throwing the tricycles,” she said. “They had taken the teeter-totter. They had placed it in the yellow school bus out here. They had dragged it up on the top of the frame.”
She said the four boys had also gone into the shed and broke a seat on one of the new toys. She explained the daycare is gated, and the boys went through two of the gates. However, there were no locks on the gates.
Andra said she is not sure when they will be able to get new toys again for the daycare. It probably won’t be until next year when the man from Utah comes again with his truckload of toys.
“They are still usable, but it’s the fact that they were brand new, and now they are all scratched, the paints off … it just really deteriorated the longevity of it for our kids,” she said.
After Andra reported the incident to the police, she said she bought locks and now has no trespassing signs up. She would like the boys to take responsibility for their actions and know there are consequences.
“The biggest message is: it’s totally okay for kids to come over and play and I get that but not to come and destroy things. If you know your kid was here, come and talk to us personally or just message us. We are really easy-going people. I think the biggest thing is we felt very disrespected because of it,” she said.
A spokeswoman with the Idaho Falls Police Department told EastIdahoNews.com a report was made on Saturday. Police are currently investigating the vandalism. If anyone has any information, you are asked to please call the police department at (208) 529-1200.