Thieves who stole hundreds of computers worth £75,000 from a school during a holiday-time raid were today described by police as ‘despicable’.
Staff at North East Wolverhampton Academy in Wolverhampton now face a race against time to replace the high-tech equipment before the new school term.
Sixty laptops and thirty iPads were taken during the overnight raid which has obliterated the school’s IT stocks. The thieves also took 150 Asus netbooks and 20 Dell PCs, with the laptops being HP 15-inch models.
And several thousand pounds of damage was caused with the thieves also ripping open storage cabinets.
Police believe they scaled fencing around the school before forcing open two rear doors, as well as a number of doors inside the building, before gaining entry to the IT suite at the school’s Foxley Campus in Marsh Lane.
Wolverhampton North Sergeant Martin Hewitt described the theft as ‘despicable’ and urged anyone with information to contact police.
He said: “There are a lot of tablets, laptops and PCs for the thieves to move on. If anyone is offered one for sale I’d urge them to call police immediately on the 101 number. The computers are essential for students’ day-to-day school work. The thieves would have known this and that young people would suffer.
“The school’s IT stock has been almost entirely wiped out as a result of this.”
The black iPads were all in Targus flip cover cases and, when they were taken, would have had the academy logo set as a screen saver, whilst the Dell PCs were black with a silver trim on the front.
Sergeant Alan Harvey from Wolverhampton Police’s Investigation Unit, said: “It’s a despicable act. We’re examining CCTV at the school and in the local area; hopefully the offenders will have been caught on camera.
“It’s likely the offenders would have needed a large vehicle or van to leave with such a large amount of computer equipment. If anyone saw people acting suspiciously in the area I’d ask them to contact us.”
The break-in took place on the night of August 15.
The school opened a new £4.5million building – containing an internet cafe and modern teaching areas – in February of this year.