ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - It's a crime that's left children -- even adults -- confused and crying.
Classrooms are ransacked and equipment stolen from a Christian school for special needs kids.
It happened at Promise Christian Academy in Town and Country.
The burglary seems to have started where someone shattered a window to get in. But ask those with the school and they'll tell you the real crime is the emotional intrusion on their special students.
Eight-year-old Taylor's parents believe Promise Christian Academy was tailor-made for him.
The little boy who loves to share hugs and kisses has down syndrome and autism. In the months that he's been in this classroom, his mom says he's thrived.
"He got a 100 on a spelling test. My kid got a 100 on a test," Joanna Jones-Raymond said.
They are milestones the mother says wouldn't be possible without routine.
"He is under such a tight structure, that there's no cracks for him to slip through," she said.
But Tuesday morning, the staff did find cracks in a television, along with dangling equipment chords, missing therapeutic equipment, open drawers, and in Taylor's classroom, papers on the floor. They are a sign of order interrupted.
Who could do that? Who could do that," a tearful Jones-Raymond said.
That's what police and Meredith Heintz would like to know. She's the director of Promise. Her office was ransacked, along with classrooms and common areas.
"Took microwaves and toasters and coffee pot," she said.
But the big loss, she believes, is the fact that they had to close the school because of the burglary and interrupt the schedules of the children.
"It's not just the possessions that were taken or destroyed or ruined," Heintz said. "It's that we now have work ahead of us to rebuild love and trust with these children."
And that's a process that could take time for Taylor and his classmates.
"I can't believe that for some headphones and computer equipment and a toaster, you would violate 22 special needs kids," Jones-Raymond said. "Come on."
Unfortunately, there aren't any security cameras to capture the crime.
The church connected to the school building was also vandalized and thousands of dollars of equipment stolen.