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Man tries to steal oven during break-in at Turie elementary school, police say

Cafeteria flooded, windows broken

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A man who broke into Turie T. Small Elementary School on Saturday stole an oven and caused extensive damage in the process, according to the Daytona Beach Police Department.

Police said surveillance video showed a man smashed a tempered glass window on the northwest corner of the cafeteria in order to get inside the building then grabbed a roll cart from the kitchen area, rolling it up to a convection oven.

The man unhooked the hoses and wires attached to the oven and attempted to lift it onto the cart but dropped it on the floor instead, according to the report.

Police said the man tried to place the oven on a trash container dolly but was unable to. The man left the cafeteria without the oven at about 4:10 a.m., according to authorities.

A school security officer who called 911 said workers could smell gas inside the cafeteria.

"We have a gas pipe leak. We had a report of a water leak but apparently it's a water line and a gas line," the security officer said.

A woman who works at the cafeteria told the security officer that she was concerned there could be an explosion.

A separate caller told a 911 operator that the cafeteria was flooded and a door and window was broken.

"At first I thought ... stuff's been knocked over and broken," the woman said in a 911 call.

Danielle Lee, whose son is a first-grade student at Turie T. Small Elementary School, said she hopes authorities find the person who caused the damage.

"People work hard. Teachers are already underpaid. Please, leave the students, the teachers, the cafeteria alone," Lee said.

Police said the unidentified culprit caused $22,000 in damages.


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