Learning Center vandalized


Cindy Pantoja / The Advocate

A plywood was placed on Nov. 26 to prevent any injuries from shatter glass from the vandalized door of the Early Learning Center

By Fatima Carrasco, Advocate Staff

On the morning of Nov. 26, calls to law enforcement began reporting vandalism to the Early Learning Center and also several vehicles near the building on the Contra Costa College campus.

With a shattered window and glass shards sprawled on the concrete, Police Services decided to close the building for the remainder of the week, prior to the Thanksgiving break.

Police determined a BB gun was used to vandalize the building after finding the projectiles on the outside on the ground near the shattered glass.

Staffers at the Early Learning Center informed the children’s parents about the situation, assuring them that they were safe. The children were sent home. With no witnesses or camera evidence, Police Services has little to work with.

The lack of evidence is making the investigation harder to conduct including finding the culpable party, Police Services Lieutenant Tom Holt said.

“There is no evidence besides the BBs (found outside the ELC). That’s how we concluded it happened with a BB gun,” Lt. Holt said.

“The ELC is working on implementing a camera system.”

With little to go on, Holt decided to deploy more security patrols and stationed officers near the building.

Police Services has been keeping an extra eye open for the children and everyone else in the building.

Although there were a number of people in the building when the vandalism occurred, no one witnessed the situation as it happened that morning.

Brianne Ayala, director of the Early Learning Center, said, “We were in the back rooms with the children, so we didn’t see or hear anything.

“At this point we feel safe — we just don’t park our cars where we used to,” she said.

Police Services sent an email notice to all CCC students and staff informing them the day of the incident.

Many were unaware that it had happened.

Psychology major Esmeralda Ochoa said, “I’m not really aware of what goes on at school. I usually just go to class and then leave and I don’t ever see the alerts. I didn’t know the learning center got vandalized.”

Other students, like psychology major Andrea Lerma, said, “I can say I am only aware of what is convenient for me, like my classes.”

Lerma said, “I wouldn’t say that I don’t feel safe, but I think Police Services should increase their security systems and add more cameras if necessary.”