Preschool owner calls man 'World's dumbest criminal' - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Preschool owner calls man 'World's dumbest criminal'

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WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - A man, caught on a suburban West Palm Beach preschool's security camera, is now accused of stealing from children in broad daylight.

Investigators said the man took several items from the ABC Children's Learning Center, including food and drinks intended for the students.

Owners of the preschool said the man jumped over a fence at one point, ignoring several "No Trespassing" signs and warnings that the property was under heavy surveillance. "It's almost a video to send to the world's dumbest criminal videos," said Eric Epstein, owner of the preschool on Summit Boulevard.

Surveillance video shows the suspect pushing his way through a window air conditioning unit and pulling himself inside the preschool's office. "Everything was just ripped up all over the place and thrown upside down," said Epstein.

After a few glances to make sure the coast was clear, the suspect can be seen walking right under one of the security cameras -- clearly showing his face. 

Epstein said the suspect pulled the plug on some of the surveillance cameras, but not until after he roamed the building snatching up electronics, gift cards and other of other items.

The suspect could be seen walking away from the preschool several times with arms full of merchandise. "He was coming and going as if it was his private house," said Epstein, who installed 32 security cameras throughout the facility. 

Owners say the suspect even took the coins and drinks from a vending machine. "He was walking around here. It was almost like it was his living room."

The school, which serves about 160 kids and their families, is out thousands of dollars the owners say. "I just want this guy behind bars," said Erica Epstein, who owns the preschool with her husband.

The Epsteins wonder who the man in the video is and how someone could do something like this. "To steal the things he did when we are only trying to educate children is a really horrible thing," said Mr. Epstein.

Owners say this happened over several hours between Saturday morning and Sunday morning when the preschool was closed. The school opened as scheduled on Monday. 

If you recognize the suspect, you can call Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.

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