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Owners catch suspect who burglarized Fort Worth daycare: "The dumbest criminal ever"

Fort Worth daycare owners catch suspect caught stealing supplies on camera
Fort Worth daycare owners catch suspect caught stealing supplies on camera 01:55

FORT WORTH — The owners of the Learning House Early Childcare Center   in Fort Worth said they arrived Thursday morning to find their facility had been broken into. 

Cliff Sparks said the incident was caught on camera, describing the suspect as, "the dumbest criminal ever." Outside the daycare is a crowbar the suspect was seen using to break a window before squeezing inside.

After looking at the damage, Cliff Sparks and his wife Alexandrea Sparks realized the suspect had gotten away with food, toys, diapers, and medical supplies the center needed.  

Learning House Early Childcare Center Fort Worth owner
CBS News Texas

Cliff Sparks reported the crime to police and went to search for the suspect. 

"[I said] I'm going to find this dude," he recalled. "So, I jumped into my truck, I screenshotted his photo [and went] to different stores and stuff and I asked, 'Have you seen this guy'? Two people started talking." 

He said he kept searching and finally caught up with the man who was walking down the street with his wife's bag. 

"I ran him down [until] he got tired, and he hit that sidewalk and got to rolling and I bear hugged him…I laid some holy hands on him," Cliff Sparks added, chuckling. 

He says he pinned the suspect down until police arrived but says he was shocked to hear the reason the man said he targeted the childcare center. 

The suspect claimed that the church where the center is housed wouldn't assist him. 

"I know that's not true because they help anyone who asks…[the church said] they've never even met the man," said Cliff Sparks. 

Alexandrea Sparks said people have already stepped in to replace some of what's been lost but they'll need even more help to continue serving the community.

"It didn't happen while anyone was present, no one was in the building, no one was in the vicinity, no one was present…everyone was safe," she said. 

After growing out of a home-based business and moving to its current location, the Sparks' center has grown to 20 children, and continues to expand.   

"It's just a matter of feeling disrespected in a sense…it's not like we have, for everybody to just take it from us," Alexandrea Sparks added. 

The couple said they are passionate about providing resources to an often underserved community and its families through their center.

"We are needed in this community, and it means a lot to me… we need to provide professional services and quality child care to our clients," said Cliff Sparks. 

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