Burglars steal children’s iPads

Rebecca Hardy with pupils from Adlington Primary and the empty laptop cupboard
Rebecca Hardy with pupils from Adlington Primary and the empty laptop cupboard

A primary school was forced to close its doors when burglars broke in and stole computers worth £4,000.

Ten iPad tablet computers were taken from Adlington Primary School between 6.10pm on Wednesday and 6.45am on Thursday.

The caretaker saw a broken window when they arrived at the school on Thursday morning and called the police.

Rebecca Hardy, year two teacher and head of key stage one, said: “We are all absolutely devastated.

“We had to shut school so there was disruption for the parents and children.”

The iPads had been bought in September by the Parents, Teachers And Friends Of Adlington Primary School (PTFA) for pupils to use in lessons.

They were used in all subjects and the school’s IT co-ordinator had installed a variety of apps on them for pupils.

Each computer was engraved on the back with the school’s name.

Ms Hardy: “They were paid for by our PTFA and we are only a small school, so it’s at least two years of fundraising.

“Up to now, they have had a massive impact on the children. They love them and were devastated when they found out we no longer have them.”

The Park Road school closed its doors on Thursday while police investigated and repairs were carried out.

It meant that lessons did not go ahead and rehearsals for this week’s Christmas nativity plays were disrupted.

The school opened as usual on Friday.

Despite the burglary, the staff, pupils and PTFA were determined to go ahead with their Christmas fair on Friday evening.

There were stalls, a raffle, tombolas and a visit from Father Christmas, with the money raised helping to pay to replace the iPads.

The school was given extra raffle prizes when people heard about the break-in and lots of people showed their support by attending the Christmas fair.

Ms Hardy said: “We could have cancelled the Christmas fair, but we were not going to be defeated. The PTFA have spent months organising it.

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by the support of the parents and the local community, who have phoned up offering support and help. We are really thankful to them all.

“People have offered to come and help with tidying up or with raffle prizes.”

Police are investigating the break-in, but no arrests have yet been made. They calling for anyone with information about the burglary to contact them.

Officers are particularly keen to hear from anyone who knows where the iPads are now or who has been given the opportunity to buy them.

A police spokesman said: “We would appeal to anyone who might have seen or heard anything that night to

contact us.

“We also want to know the whereabouts of these computers, especially if they are being offered for sale in the run-up to Christmas.

“It’s very sad that these computers have been taken. They are there for children to use in lessons.”

They do not believe the burglary is linked to the theft of more than 50 laptops from a school in Leyland.

They were taken from Woodlea Junior School, on Woodlea Road, between 7pm on Thursday, November 28 and 5.45am the following day.

Anyone with information about either burglary is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.