Burglars make off with £10,000 worth of laptops from school

PUBLISHED: 12:18 12 July 2012 | UPDATED: 17:19 16 July 2012

Head teacher Robert Dunbar with the dolly that was raided by burglars

Head teacher Robert Dunbar with the dolly that was raided by burglars

Archant

BURGLARS raided a Royston primary school over the weekend, getting away with £10,000 worth of laptops after breaking into two classrooms.

Thieves targeted St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, on Melbourn Road, at some point between Saturday and Monday morning.

They circumvented the alarm system and broke two windows before grabbing 28 computers – worth £9,856 – sat in a storage unit. Burglars then escaped in an unknown vehicle.

St Mary’s will not be able to provide its students with computer facilities until October with headteacher Robert Dunbar saying the raid caused “massive disruption to the school”.

He told the Crow: “It meant we could not use two of our classrooms and we had to shift people around. Obviously we are not going to be able to do any ICT.

“A parent has said, and I’m in agreement, that it is disgusting that people should target a school especially as it is going to impact on children.”

Mr Dunbar’s comments came after a statement released by the school which said: “Our whole school family is shocked as laptops were provided by our PTA through their supportive fundraising activities.

“The thieves did not take the laptop chargers, so if anyone sees people trying to obtain chargers on ebay this could be of interest to the police.”

A week before the raid St Mary’s celebrated becoming the second academy in the town under The Diocese of Westminster Academy Trust.

The school will continue to work closely with other Royston schools and Mr Dunbar said the theft did not sully the occasion.

He said: “It is something we will have to deal with that’s difficult and it is one of those things. I’m sure we will move on.”

Police are investigating the theft and officers are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Pc Simon Klust from Royston Police Station, said: “I am appealing for anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious at the school since early Saturday morning to contact us.

“Perhaps you saw a vehicle on the school grounds over the weekend? If you have any information at all, no matter how small or insignificant you think it may be I would urge you to get in contact with us immediately.”

The investigation comes as Hertfordshire Constabulary launches a scheme to encourage residents to keep a close eye on schools as they break up for summer.

Officers will be carrying out extra patrols around schools over the holiday period and the public are being urged to report any suspicious behaviour around schools to police immediately.

Detective Inspector Paul Doran, from the Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, said: “If you live near a school or pass by them regularly, you could make a really big difference in keeping them secure over the summer break.

“Burglaries can be a huge cost to schools, not only in terms of the amount of money it takes to replace stolen equipment, but the inconvenience of repairing broken windows and doors and the irreplaceable damage to cherished items.”

● Anyone with information on the Royston raid is urged to contact Pc Klust on 101 quoting crimes reference number G4/12/473, or alternatively, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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