Parents shocked, confused as federal agents raid day cares - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Parents shocked, confused as federal agents raid day cares

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Parents were shocked and confused after federal agents and police officers descended on several Memphis area day cares and businesses Thursday morning.

The massive raid unfolded shortly after 9 a.m. as federal agents executed search warrants and gathered evidence.  

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Day cares were not their only targets. They also swarmed a car wash and restaurant. The warrants are sealed but law enforcement sources tell FOX13 News the focus of the investigation is fraud.  

Qurah Bookman, a mother picking her child up from day care didn't know what to think about the news.

"When I pulled up, I'm like what happened with the police?" she said.

Police cars could be seen at various child care centers throughout the Mid-South Thursday evening, nearly eight hours after more than a dozen businesses and day cares in Memphis and North Mississippi were raided by federal agents and local police.

At the In Loving Arms Daycare on Euclid in South Memphis, marked and unmarked police cars sat in the parking lot, as parents were instructed by phone to come get their children.

One woman told FOX13 News off camera she was not allowed to walk in the building to pick up her niece. Instead, a day care worker met her at the door with the little girl, as authorities watched. The child's mother said on the phone she had already made calls to transfer her daughter to another day care facility, immediately.

The scene was similar at the Chism Child Care on South Third, as a bus arrived for aftercare, where news of the raid came as a surprise to people picking children up.

A man who wished not to be identified who was arriving to meet his small cousin said, "I don't know why they're in there." When asked if it looked normal inside the day care, he said, "No, it doesn't look normal."

Two police officers boarded a bus with kids leaving the facility Thursday evening.

While no details about the raid at the day cares and other businesses in the Mid-South are available to the public, at least one mother said she isn't worried about the investigation.

"I don't even know what's going on but this is a good center as far as I know," she said.

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