WEATHERFORD — Weatherford police last week arrested two teens believed to be linked with a string of recent daycare burglaries.
John-Michael Brent McDaniel, 17, of Weatherford, was arrested Dec. 5 on a charge of theft of a firearm and burglary of a building out of Mineral Wells PD and Carl John Story, 18, also of Weatherford was arrested two days later on a charge of burglary of a building.
Weatherford police responded to the Sunshine Child Learning Center which reported one of its vans stolen when an employee came in the morning of Nov. 30.
On the morning of Dec. 2, Mineral Wells PD received a report that another daycare, Nicki's Critters, had been burglarized, with a camera, iPads and a projector taken from the facility. Surveillance video at the daycare showed a white van occupied by two males. Police said the vehicle may be the same one stolen from Weatherford.
Mineral Wells PD investigators responded to another attempted break-in that same morning at a nearby Mineral Wells daycare, with video showing what appeared to be the same burglars, Mineral Wells police said. The storage shed of another daycare in the area was also broken into.
Shelby Jordan, whose mother owns South Oaks Learning Center in Springtown, said they noticed one of their vans missing the morning of Dec. 3. Several cabinets inside the building were also found opened and a stash of Monster energy drinks and bottles of soda were missing as well, Jordan said. A set of keys belonging to a bus were also taken.
The van was found the next morning after apparently breaking down on the side of the road on Mineral Wells Highway in the Cool area, Springtown Police Det. Jamie Oliver said.
Mineral Wells Police Lt. Darby Thomas said they discovered the pair was also involved in the burglary of an automotive mechanic shop in Mineral Wells, where two vehicles, a firearm and mechanic equipment were stolen and later recovered by police.
Thomas said items taken from the Mineral Wells daycares had also been recovered.
Jordan, like other business owners, questioned why daycare facilities might have been targeted.
"My mom has been doing this forever, and we have nothing that they want," Jordan said. "We've had gas stolen out of vans, dumb stuff like that, but nothing as crazy as this."