Thieves hit school for severely disabled in Jefferson County - KMOV.com

Thieves hit school for severely disabled in Jefferson County

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Mapaville School for the Severely Disabled. Credit: KMOV Mapaville School for the Severely Disabled. Credit: KMOV

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) – A break-in allegedly happened at a school for developmentally disabled students near Festus, Missouri.

None of the employees at Mapaville School for the Severely Disabled say they can ever remember a break-in or any kind of crime at the school.

But one late night during the third week of July, thieves stole a bunch of tools, gas cans and canisters of refrigerant for the building’s air conditioner.

Brad Mora, principal at the Mapaville School for the Severely Disabled says he is surprised by the burglary. Mora says summer school is in session but no one was at the school during the burglary.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department investigators say the burglars broke into a large storage shed behind the school. Investigators mention the incident appears to have been a crime of opportunity.

"They [burglars] could be driving around and say, ‘Hey, there's a shed over there, let's go see what's in the shed.’ The shed door on this location was pried open,” said Detective Sergeant James Kausler, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators say the thieves stole five canisters of air conditioning refrigerant that can run $300 – 400 each. The thieves also allegedly took a portable welder, chainsaw and string trimmer.

The value of the items stolen is around $3,600, according to investigators.

"Those items can be turned around pretty quick for some cash, whether it be a heroin addict or what. It seems to be the nature of what heroin addicts do because they need that next fix," said Kausler.

Mora says the locks have been changed on the shed. He also says the school will be keeping a closer eye on the property after experiencing their first crime in more than 20 years.

Authorities say no suspects have been identified but it is still early in the investigation.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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