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19 laptops stolen from Belfast school

St Michaels' Primary School on the Ravenhill Road, which was targeted by thieves who stole 19 laptops and a washing machine. Picture by Bill Smyth.
Marie Louise McConville

A TOTAL of 19 laptop computers and a washing machine have been stolen from a primary school in south Belfast.

Thieves targeted St Michael's Primary School on the Ravenhill Road overnight between Wednesday and Thursday.

It is thought to be the second time in 18 months that laptops have been stolen from the school.

Police, who released the details yesterday, said those responsible forced entry to the premises.

Damage was also caused to windows in the school during the break-in.

Principal Bronagh Finn said the theft had left the school "upset".

"The thieves took 19 laptop computers from the school and a washing machine from the school canteen," she said.

"The window frames of four classrooms and the school canteen were damaged.

"The PSNI as well as officers from the Education Authority (EA) and Stewart Alarms attended the school yesterday and are helping the school in this regard".

She added: "As you will appreciate we are all upset at this loss but will work together to ensure that it does not impact on the quality of the educational experience we provide for our pupils".

SDLP MLA Claire Hanna said: "It's absolutely infuriating that someone would break into a primary school to steal equipment that is used to help advance the education of local children.

"Aside from the loss of equipment, this appalling crime will also force the school to replace the 21 laptops that have been stolen, further stretching under pressure budgets."

Detective Sergeant James Johnston appealed for anyone with information about the theft to contact police on non-emergency number 101 or the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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