Church day care left without after-school transportation after vandals steal, trash van

Pastor pleads with the public for help finding a replacement

SAN ANTONIO – The owners of an after-school day care say vandals left their van trashed over the weekend, which kept them from being able to use it to pick up enrolled children.

Jorge Zayasbazan, senior pastor at Baptist Temple Church, said the day care couldn’t just use any passenger bus, so a nearby school stepped in to help on Tuesday by providing a loaner bus.

“So many things that could have happened -- this is never something that we could anticipate somebody would actually break in and steal a van that is beautiful with a picture of the children on it,” Zayasbazan said.

Thieves broke through the gate at Baptist Temple Church and then stole the van, leaving the day care without their van for after-school pickup.

“We made a bunch of phone calls over the last 24 hours, and Jubilee came through for us,” Zayasbazan said.

A charter school bus was able to pick up some of the kids, but some were too far for the bus to go get them.

Zayasbazan said he believes the break-in happened sometime over the weekend. No one knew the van was gone until someone spotted it a few miles from the church.

Church officials say replacing or fixing the van is tricky as the inside and outside of the vehicle are trashed.

While the van might still be salvageable, the church needs to replace the electronic child safety alarm, which tells the driver there aren’t any children left inside.

“They hit us in a place that’s extra painful because we just can’t replace it with any vehicle. It has to have all these special safety features in it,” Zayasbazan said.

He’s pleading with the public for help to find a replacement.

“If somebody has a van like this -- if they want to sell it or loan it to us, or even we would be happy to compensate them, that would be a wonderful thing,” Zayasbazan said.

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About the Author

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

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