Thieves in Miami-Dade forced a daycare center to shut down Tuesday after they stole copper wiring sometime in the overnight hours, leaving the building without any electricity.
Betty Joseph, owner of the Sunshine and Sunset Early Learning Center, located at 4339 NW 7th Avenue in Miami, arrived Tuesday morning at around 5:30 a.m. She discovered that the padlocks on the gates were broken, as was a lock on the door of the facility's meter room.
"They got up on top of the building and cut wiring that goes from the pole to the building," Joseph said.
From there, police say thieves broke into the meter room and ripped out all of the copper wiring, leaving the building without any electricity and forcing it to close for the day.
On a typical day, Joseph says she has at least 35 children under her care. Being forced to close on such short notice left many parents scrambling to make alternate child care arrangements at the last minute.
"A majority of [the parents] are pretty upset, they didn't have any place to take care of the children this morning," Joseph says. "They're upset over the business being closed so unexpectedly."
Miami-Dade Police are aware of the situation and are conducting an investigation. Crime scene investigators have also collected evidence from the scene.
Joseph says she is disgusted with what happened, but hopes to have her business back up and running by Wednesday. She says the owners of the building have sent electricians to get started on repairs.
"I really hope to be open tomorrow," Joseph says. "I missed the babies. I really missed the children today."
The Sunshine and Sunset Early Learning Center has serviced the families of this community for more than 45 years.
Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.