BURGLARS who broke into Banbridge Pre-School and stole a substantial sum of cash may have regarded the building as an easy target after it’s fundraising ideas had been posted on the internet.
Thieves left the pre-school in disarray when they broke in at some point between Thursday night and the early hours of Friday morning.
Forty-six children had to be turned away when they arrived at school on Friday morning as police forensics examined the scene for fingerprints. All children and teachers were back to normal yesterday (Monday).
Pre-school founder and centre manager Linda McAdam was reduced to tears as she spoke to the Leader in the wake of the incident, describing it as the latest blow for the school which faces closure this year.
“This is just the last thing we needed,” said Ms McAdam. “We have just announced the fact it looks like we’ll have to close in June and now this has happened.
“They forced the two front doors open, broke the filing cabinet, stole money and generally turned the place upside down.
“We haven’t had an incident like this in the 26 years we’ve been here.”
Ms McAdam said ideas for fundraising activities in a bid to keep the school open had been posted on a dedicated Facebook page and this may have given the burglars the idea that the building would contain large sums of cash.
“It is clear that whoever did this was only after money,” said Ms McAdam. “They left things like the computers and other equipment untouched but they opened every drawer, cupboard and envelope to find money.
“We’re not sure yet how much they took but it is very clear what their motive was and they didn’t care who they affected.”
Upper Bann Assembly candidate Jo-Anne Dobson condemned the incident.
“I know that for staff and parents this vandalism will have added insult to injury as they are already going through difficult and uncertain times,” said Mrs Dobson. “I wish them all the best with their campaign and encourage anyone who may have information regarding the break-in to contact police.”
Police have appealed for information on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously at Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.