Esperanza Elementary school burglarized; police looking for suspects

Jul 13, 2023, 12:58 PM | Updated: 3:04 pm

WEST VALLEY CITY, UtahEsperanza Elementary, a dual immersion elementary school in West Valley City, is asking for the community’s help in identifying who broke into the school, vandalized the building and stole precious items. 

It happened in the wee hours on Saturday.

The school shared surveillance footage Thursday in hopes that someone may recognize who broke in so they can keep moving forward.

Out of the 550 students who attend school at Esperanza Elementary, principal Eulogio Alejandre said 200 students play instruments. That is why what was stolen hurts extra.

“This was a big glass window, and so what they did is they threw something against the glass,” Alejandre said.

Captured on camera, Alejandre said he got the alert on his phone that there was a school break in. The door was busted. A safe was stolen.

Alejandre said the majority of the stolen items and vandalism happened in the heartbeat of their school: the mariachi band room.

“They took some guitars and some violins and some stands for the microphones and some microphones,” Alejandre said.

A computer from the recording studio was also taken. 

He said Esperanza Elementary is 99% Hispanic and the only school in the state with a performing mariachi band.

In a school where culture is celebrated through music, the vandalism and theft hit a low note. 

“We have to have guitars and violins and drum sets and all of those kinds of things that make up a mariachi band, and so they helped themselves to all the things that we had here,” Alejandre said.

Precious memorabilia, including a signed jersey from a top soccer team in Mexico, is also nowhere to be found. 

“This is probably the most valued picture frame that he had.”

“I don’t know why they would tear that. They smashed the glass. They took the shirt and left this in the middle of the floor, broken,” Alejandre said.

With school coming up again in about a month, consider this a bridge to moving forward.

“We know we’re gonna replace those things. They didn’t do anything to stop us. They can’t. We’re gonna continue. We will start the year just like every year.”

Alejandre is certain the school will continue to play their song. 

“The name of the school is ‘Esperanza.’ In English, that means ‘Hope.’ We have nothing but hope for the future,” he said. 

KSL TV has reached out to West Valley City police, who the principal says is working the case. 

If you have any information on what may have happened, you are encouraged to call police.

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Esperanza Elementary school burglarized; police looking for suspects