Bardwell: Thieves steal £4,500 of laptops from primary school
18:12 25 January 2013
A FOURTH west Suffolk school has now been targeted by laptop thieves.
Police are appealing for witnesses to the burglary at Bardwell Primary School in School Lane, Bardwell, which happened overnight last night.
In total 20 Samsung netbook laptops, worth about £4,500, were taken from a metal cabinet in a classroom area.
Police are looking at any possible links between this crime and recent burglaries at Risby CEVC Primary School, Rougham Primary and Moulton CEVC Primary School which have happened in the past few weeks.
More than £20,000 of laptops have now been stolen.
Headteacher of Bardwell Primary, Caroline Clarke, said the school was upset and cross about the theft.
She said: “Obviously it’s happened to a number of schools so we were aware and were doing our best to keep an eye on things and keep the school as secure as possible, but there are obviously people out there who are looking for these things and they know what they are doing. It’s really sad, but it’s the children who lose out in the end.”
She said the school, which has 42 pupils, had had the laptops for about two years, adding how all the children used them.
“The children use them across the curriculum. Now ICT is such an important part of the curriculum,” she said.
The school does have computers the youngsters can use in the meantime and the laptops were covered by insurance, but Mrs Clarke said there would be a cost in putting all the software back on, as well as children’s work.
“So in terms of the disappointment and cost for the school it goes a lot further than the fact computers are gone and we can replace it. It’s not as simple as that really.”
She said the crime happened after the premises was left secure, adding it appeared to have been pre-meditated.
“I guess my advice to other schools would be to be very aware of comings and goings and what people are up to and who’s entering the premises and there are reasons for being there.”
The school is considering increased security measures such as padlocks on gates.
Nothing else seems to have been taken in the burglary.
Anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area between yesterday at 6.40pm and today at 7.30am, has knowledge of the crime or the current whereabouts of the laptops should contact Pc Antony Orr at Bury St Edmunds police station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.