Burglars take Blenheim school's computers

BY CHERIE HOWIE
Last updated 13:00 23/11/2009
GONE: Springlands School pupils Josh Roche, 9, and Abby Webb, 8, with what remains of their computer equipment after burglars made off with thousands of dollars worth of computers and other electrical equipment overnight on Friday.
DEREK FLYNN/Marlborough Express
GONE: Springlands School pupils Josh Roche, 9, and Abby Webb, 8, with what remains of their computer equipment after burglars made off with thousands of dollars worth of computers and other electrical equipment overnight on Friday.

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Blenheim's Springlands School pupils will have to do without thousands of dollars worth of computers and other electronic equipment for the rest of the year after a burglary overnight on Friday.

Blenheim police sergeant Michael Porter said burglars broke into four classrooms and took 15 computers, including 12 laptops, a computer hard drive and four data projectors.

"The actions of these cold-hearted, mindless criminals will have a great impact on the school and its young pupils," Mr Porter said.

Police senior sergeant Ciaran Sloan this morning described the burglary as well planned. No arrests had been made.

Springlands principal Gaylene Beattie said she did not know the value of the equipment taken, because it was of varying ages, but estimated it would cost up to $25,000 to replace.

Insurance applications would begin today, but the computers would not be replaced before the school year ended next month, Ms Beattie said. No school, staff or pupil information or work had been lost because all computers were backed up, but the burglary would have an impact.

Mrs Beattie did not want to comment on how many computers remained in the school, but said staff would do their best to share the remaining resources around.

She was disappointed by the burglars' actions.

"It's not something you expect in a community like Marlborough."

Mr Porter said the police believed the offenders used the Aston Lane and McKendry Park area as an access point, or fled the scene through that area.

He urged those living near the school to report any suspicious behaviour or anything that may relate to the offending.

Anyone who had been offered computers or school equipment should contact the police, he said.

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