Kansas City daycare owner out thousands after thieves steal children's electronics

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of electronics from a childcare center in Kansas City over the weekend.

Sharlonda Riley, owner of La'Tim's Little Angels, said she's dedicated her life to bettering the city's east side and taking care of its children. And now she said this crime will hurt the children the most.

Riley was forced to take teaching back to the basics. On Saturday night thieves broke-in through the back window and damaged the door.

"To have something like that done, um, I was really hurt" Riley said.

"She was just traumatized," Riley's mom Rachel Riley said.

Riley bought a condemned house on the east side of KCMO in 2018.

"For the most part, we have beautiful neighbors and people that we can trust, so this was a big disconnect," Rachel said.

Family and friends helped fix up the old house, and she opened a childcare center, now serving eight families.

But on Saturday night, thieves left the toys, but took the tools the kids use to learn, which includes seven tablets, two flatscreen TVs and an iPad.

"You're not only taking from me. You're taking from my children," Riley said. "Everything that I purchased, I work really hard, you know, two jobs."

Riley said she doesn't have the money to replace all the technology right now.

"With the TVs, we do read-alongs, we do sing-alongs. It's all learning!" Riley said.

Riley grew up playing in KC's east side neighborhood. That's a big reason why she decided to plant a bright spot in the same area she experienced a lot of devastation.

"My brother and my cousin who were killed. They also loved kids," Riley said, "and that's where the name 'La'Tims' comes from -- Larry and Timothy."

As vice president of the East 23rd Street PAC Neighborhood Association, Riley fights for this neighborhood and people in it.

"To have sidewalks put in for our babies, parks put in for our babies," she said, "to know that I've given so much back, to have something take from me -- not OK."

Riley said the center won't leave the neighborhood. She's got faith knowing there are angels watching over "La'Tim's Little Angels."

"I'm a hard worker," she said. "We're going to get it back, and we're just going to keep pushing forward and just thankful to God that they didn't completely trash the place."

Riley filed a police report with KCPD.

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