Vandals ransack South Bay preschool, smash windows forcing it to close

A San Jose preschool is forced to close after vandals smashed windows and thrashed rooms. The break-in occurred sometime overnight Wednesday at the Tomorrow Montessori School on Almaden Road. The school is hiring security. This is the first time the school has closed in 16 years.

At the Tomorrow Montessori School in San Jose, it was supposed to be a day filled with joy for the school's May the Fourth Star Wars party. Instead it's filled with shock and sadness.

“This is devastating,” said Owner Joyce Brown. “I mean this is beyond anything we've ever had to deal with.”

Brown arrived Thursday morning she found broken glass everywhere practically every room ransacked, furniture and equipment destroyed including the office and kitchen. The infant room had the most damage.

“Diapers, formula, food because of all the broken glass all the carpeting has to be replaced because this is our infant room so the babies crawl,” said Brown.

It was heartbreaking for Brown to close the school notifying 115 families.

“These are all working families that rely on me to make sure and my staff to make sure they can go to work and the children have some place safe to be,” said Brown.

Brown said the vandals struck sometime between midnight and six a.m. likely hopping a wall and using playground equipment to break a window. Surveillance cameras malfunctioned. As Brown entered, she heard someone leaving through the front door. She said he appeared to be homeless, unsure if he came in afterward.

“It was either a lot of people doing it at once or it was one person spending a lot of time and effort and being very deliberate about it,” said Owner John Brown.

Amanda Lize said she's lucky able to take care of her 4-year-old as the school makes repairs. Some families are not so lucky.

“The fact they chose a place for infants up to 4 year olds that's horrible because you have destroyed their safety net,” said Lize.

Four-year-old Bianca Lize is helping clean up.

“I saw the window was cracked,” said Biance Lize. “I feel they are being bullies to my school.”

“This kind of violence is not okay,” said Brown. “We have got to find a way to build our community stronger and better.”

The vandals didn't steal much other than an IPad and food. The owners are estimating more than $10,000. The school hopes to re-open on Tuesday. Anyone with information is asked to contact San Jose Police.