Burglars ransack, vandalize private school in Fort Lauderdale

Curse words, possible gang sign written on property, police say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Roy Ramos - Reporter

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Fort Lauderdale police are searching for the burglars who broke into a private school overnight and ransacked and vandalized the classrooms.

The burglary was reported around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday at Showers of Blessings Christian Academy at 2230 NW 22nd St.

The school is attended by children in pre-school and kindergarten.

"It's hurtful. It's senseless," athletic director Christopher Ewald said. 

According to an incident report, school director Britany Ewald told police every classroom at the school had been entered and vandalized.

She said the school had been secured around noon Monday, but her father, who is the pastor of the church, chased away three people -- a male and two females -- from the property around 7 p.m.

According to the incident report, police could see from the exterior of the building that many of the school's hurricane-proof windows had been smashed in with rocks. Almost all of the windows of a nearby school bus were also smashed out.

Police said all of the classrooms had property scattered throughout them and many had curse words written on the whiteboards.

Some laptops and overhead projectors were also broken and cameras installed in the classrooms had been torn off the ceiling and broken, authorities said.

Britany Ewald told officers the cameras were not functional.

According to the incident report, the burglars also ransacked the school's kitchen, throwing around food and leaving the refrigerator door open.

Toilet lids were also smashed and graffiti was spray-painted onto several windows, including a possible gang sign that read "YNB" and "By Dez," authorities said.

Britany Ewald estimated that the burglars caused $60,000 in damages; however, she said employees would need to do an inventory before they could provide a more accurate estimate.

Police said Britany Ewald had called authorities Sunday night regarding windows being broken at the school, but it's unclear whether the same people were involved.

The Ewalds said they were forced to cancel classes Tuesday because of the damage to their 10 classrooms. 

"It is kind of sad. I feel for them and we will help if they need help," Britany Ewald said about the burglars.

Detectives dusted the school for fingerprints and also found multiple shoe prints in paint and dirt.

Police said multiple pieces of evidence were collected, including spray paint cans, a glove, a necklace, a phone, a shirt, condoms/wrappers and markers.

Anyone with further information about the burglary is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477.
 

The school has set up a GoFundMe page to help with expenses. 

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