• $20K worth of electronics stolen from Pine Hills charter school


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County deputies are trying to track down the person or people who burglarized a charter school that caters to children with special needs.

    UCP is a public charter school with several central Florida locations.

    UCP's CEO, Ilene Wilkins said on Monday morning a kindergarten teacher at the Pine Hills location found out her classroom had been broken into and thousands of dollars worth of electronic tablets had been stolen.  

     Tuesday, the school's alarm company notified them of another break-in, but Wilkins said the thieves might have been scared off because they didn’t notice anything missing.

     Later that night, someone broke in again, and this time in the front office.

    Cash and more electronics were taken and UCP estimates they're missing about $20,000 worth of electronic teaching tools.

    "On the iPads there's a great communication program that allows a child who might not be able to talk to push a button that says "I'm hungry" or "I need to go to the bathroom," said UCP's CEO Ilene Wilkson.

    The Pine Hills location is borrowing some electronics from other location while they try to replace the stolen items.

    Wilkson said she doesn't know why her school was targeted.

    "I'd hate to think that someone who knew us and was part of the family would do that," said Wilkson.

    The Pine Hills location teaches children with and without disabilities, however about 85 percent of its 150 students are considered to have special needs.

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    $20K worth of electronics stolen from Pine Hills charter school