Local News

Day-Care Center to Reopen After Being Damaged by Stolen SUV

Posted April 23, 2007

— A stolen sport utility vehicle careened into a day-care center early Monday, forcing officials to close the center.

A Buick Rendezvous was traveling more than 90 mph when the driver lost control of the vehicle at the intersection of Avent Ferry Road and Trailwood Drive shortly before 2:30 a.m. Monday, police said. The vehicle struck a sign before going down an embankment.

The SUV hit a power pole, rolled over several times and crashed into Method Child Development Center, 900 Trailwood Drive, police said.

"Just to walk in and see my 4-year-olds' classroom in shambles is just overwhelming. It's just devastating," said Diane Heinze, the center's director. "It was in shambles. There was glass everywhere, chairs everywhere, and there's this vehicle halfway in the center. It was overwhelming. It was like a big storm had some in and taken the classroom away."

But Heinze said she was grateful the wreck didn't occur during school hours.

"I would have had 18 children in that classroom with two staff members, children coming in and out. I don't even want to think what could have happened," she said.

Method Child Development officials worked with state inspectors all day Monday to repair the damage enough to reopen the center Tuesday morning.

The building sustained about $25,000 in damage, police said. Damage to the SUV was estimated at $20,000, while repairing the utility pole will cost about $2,000, police said.

According to the police report, a witness saw three men and a woman around the vehicle, but he was unsure which person was driving the vehicle. By the time authorities arrived at the scene, the people were gone.

"There were some people in the car that ran. With the identifying information on the vehicle, the officer was able to determine it was a stolen vehicle," said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Ramona Franklin reported the car stolen on April 16 and said the whole incident isn't fair to her or the day-care center.

"Someone had the audacity and the gall to take something that doesn't belong to them," Franklin said. "(The) joyride cost somebody else's business (and) could have caused somebody else's demise. Somebody could have died."

There were no reports of any injuries. There were also no signs of alcohol inside of the vehicle.


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  • My2Cats Apr 24, 2007

    Stolen SUV's tend to be especially reckless creatures.

  • anonemoose Apr 23, 2007

    Sir, what the references were is to the first headline that was posted that stated that the SUv did all the damage all by itself. If you go back and look, and watch in the future, there has, and will be stories that lead you to believe that a SUV often will do massive amounts of property damage, or kill people without any human help. Just like the UNC thing, the headline stated that 15 (or whatever) were injured when a SUV plowed into the pit. No mention that the SUV was being driven. Trust me, watch and you shall see.

  • littleredwolfie Apr 23, 2007

    Given the time the accident occurred, I would say that most of the officers were out on patrol...keeping us safe. This article is not about the officers' handling of the case. It is about an accident that could have been much worse...it just so happened that the vehicle involved was stolen. Chances are that the accident was a result of teenagers out joyriding in a stolen vehicle. And, if we find out that is the case, are we going to blame the parents for it??? I hope not. Troubled kids don't just come from disadvantaged homes anymore. Nor, do we have the right to blame the police. They are out there to protect and serve. Maybe you should think about that the next time you really need one.

  • angora Apr 23, 2007

    "these four people were able to just walk away from this and not get caught with a police substation a half mile away?"

    Uuuh, last I checked, ESP wasn't part of either substations or police.

  • now thats funny stuff Apr 23, 2007

    ok...these four people were able to just walk away from this and not get caught with a police substation a half mile away?

  • yacs Apr 23, 2007

    Why are people upset about the SUV reference in the headline? It's pertinent to the amount of damage. An SUV is large, so that headline indicates a large amount of damage.

    Is there really an anti-SUV movement? And are SUV owners really that defensive about it? I think SUVs and minivans are justifiable, especially for families.

  • gi jane Apr 23, 2007


    and since you are speaking of our youth as if I was a child then we should look at the more recent events that has stirred our world, the Virginia Tech massacre, the student who killed himself at a gas station when confronted by police, etc. I know there are more troubling events with our younger generation but I cant recall anything more troubling or outstanding than this. But if you will re-read the archives of WRAL I am sure you will find some troubling events and crimes committed by the youth of the world today and see that it is not all just young african americans.

  • gi jane Apr 23, 2007


    I agree somewhat with your statement about young people being lost. But I think it pertains to all the races and differ ethnicities. I am not lost. I am a productive citizen and work hard for what I have. I respect others even when I am being disrespected. I am not prejudiced. I made statments. I have friends that are of all persuasions so believe what you will. The good thing about a forum is that people come together to express views and exchange ideas. Sometimes two people dont agree. And that is still ok. Life will go on and those two peoples opinions doesnt really matter to anyone but themselves. Thank you for the banter. Although I disagree with all that you said and how you presented it I still respected it. So take care and have a good day. Perhaps in another forum on another day we two might find something to agree upon.

  • jackpalmerjr Apr 23, 2007

    You verify one thing for sure! There is as many or more prejudiced Blacks than any other group in america today. You are prejudiced and dont want to look at the real problem in america today. A generation of young blacks that are lost.

  • gi jane Apr 23, 2007


    you obviously ddnt read all the posts. i dont know if you know this but the comments are listed in the order they were posted. if you read them then you will see my point. but i guess that is too much to ask. the rest of your comment was uninteresting and pointless. the extreme use of caps wasnt necessary either. since we two are having a communications issue then it is probably better that we stop trying. you take care and have a good day. i am trying to be as civil as i possibly can w/out being as offensive as you are. i can take critisism when it presented in a less offensive form. if my post bothers you then perhaps you need to check your "closet" as you so eloquently stated.