PUPILS and staff at a town primary school have been left saddened and upset after mindless thieves broke in and stole a laptop.
Raiders targeted Rossmere Primary School, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool, at around 8.30pm on Monday evening, managing to sneak inside by smashing a window.
But it appears the crooks were frightened off by the school’s alarm system and only the laptop was taken.
The crime follows the school’s recent excitement at celebrating the launch of its £1.3m early learning centre – a single-storey extension which allowed the nursery and reception classes to be added to the main school building.
But that joy has been soured following the break-in.
Acting headteacher Debbie Hopper stressed the stolen laptop did not contain any sensitive or personal information, but did contain material which was regularly used during school assemblies.
She said: “The school’s on-site supervisor was alerted by the school alarm, and on investigation he discovered that someone had broken into the school by breaking a ground floor window in the older part of the building and had taken a laptop. No other items were taken.
“The information stored on the laptop did not contain any sensitive or personal information but it did have the programme for our interactive assembly, which included our hymns and other sessions which the children really loved and which they won’t now be able to enjoy.
“Everyone at the school is very upset by the break-in – especially the youngsters – and it’s made even worse because it comes just days after all the excitement over the opening of our new Early Years Learning Space.
“If anyone has any information about the break-in, we would urge them to please contact the police.”
A Cleveland Police spokeswoman echoed Mrs Hopper’s plea to readers, saying: “This laptop is obviously of great importance to the school given it holds children’s songs, hymns and other activities.
“We would urge anyone who is offered it for sale, or who finds it discarded to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with any information about the black Toshiba laptop should telephone officers on (01642) 302110 or Crimestoppers on (0800) 555111.