COMPUTER teaching has been hit at a primary school after burglars stole half the school’s laptops.

The 15 Acer Aspire laptops were together worth about £4,500, and were stolen in a break-in at the weekend at St Wilfrid’s Primary School at Hartford.

The laptops are used for computer lessons by key stage two pupils, and the burglars caused £500 worth of damage to the cabinet they were kept in.

“The laptops were kept in a locked metal cabinet, and the burglars used a crowbar to force a window frame out to gain access to the classroom,” said head teacher Anne Weir.

“The lock was smashed off on the cabinet, which is unusable and will have to be replaced.

“The children were shocked at what has happened and that someone has been into the school and has taken something that has not belonged to them.

“The theft will affect our ability to deliver the computer curriculum for the next couple of weeks until we can replace the laptops, which were insured, and get back to normal.”

Mrs Weir said the burglars may have known what they were looking for as none of the other cabinets in the classroom were touched.

She said security at the school would be reviewed, and is asking people to support the police appeal for information which could help their investigation into the break-in.

The break-in at the school in Greenbank Lane happened between 6pm on Friday, February 19 and 7am on Monday.

Chief Inspector Simon Meegan said: “The items stolen are vital pieces of equipment for the pupils to use, and this will have a direct impact on their learning.

“We take any incidents of this nature seriously and will do all we can to trace those responsible.

“We are appealing for anyone with any information or anyone who knows the identity of those involved or the whereabouts of the laptops to come forward – even the smallest piece of information can be useful when piecing together a case.”

The stolen laptops are dark grey/black and SmartWater security marked. Anyone with any information about the break-in call 101 quoting incident 96 of February 22, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.