Police are linking six recent break-ins in Colne.
Nothing was taken from Park High School in Venables Avenue when it was targeted between 8-15pm and 9-30pm on Tuesday, February 4th, but several doors were damaged.
Newtown Nursery in West Street was broken into for a third time since October when entry was gained by smashing a window between 8-40pm and 8-45pm on Wednesday, February 5th. The building was ransacked and £20 was stolen.
At around 8pm on Sunday, £80 in notes and change was stolen from Toddle In Nursery in North Valley Road after entry was gained through a smashed window.
Three laptops and some loose change was stolen from Sacred Heart Primary School in Red Lane between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning.
A digital camera was taken from the Club 2000 Nursery within the North Valley Community Centre in Birtwistle Avenue on Sunday.
And a small vending machine full of sweets worth £100 was stolen during a break-in at Colne and Nelson Rugby Club. The break-in occurred between 1-30am and 2am on Sunday and £200 of damage was also caused to a window.
Sgt Kim De Curtis, from Pendle Police, said: “We are linking these crimes due to the MO and other factors that have come to light during the investigation. We are also linking the school and nursery breaks to a spate of crimes that have occurred since November where schools and nurseries have been targeted.
“I personally find these type of crimes horrendous and very low that offenders are targeting these establishments. Yes the property can be replaced, but the children are attending school the day after when the break has been discovered and their whole day is disrupted due to chaos at the school. Not only that they are then aware that this crime has occurred and it prays on their minds and they then take their worries home and this has a negative affect.
“It’s the children’s property that is being stolen, they are loosing out and are affected the most and it sickens me being a mother myself. A thorough investigation is taking place into these crimes and extra resources are being utilised to pay attention to the schools and nurseries. We have a number of lines of enquiry, all of which are being followed up.
“We have also visited all the schools and nurseries in Colne and kept them updated with this spate and provided the relevant advice. However we could all play a part in the community in keeping a eye on our schools.”
Headteacher at Sacred Heart Primary School John Robertshaw said that the stolen laptops were dumped outside school, and have been returned as the offenders must have realised they were “ready to be dismantled”. He also added that CCTV footage has been captured.
He said: “Our main worry is that the offenders will come back. We need to prevent this from happening to us, and other schools and businesses in the area. They didn’t get into the main part of the school, and they have not taken much, but it is the cost of damage - that will be about £1,000.”
Owner of Toddle In Nursery Jessica Webber said: “I have staff who are afraid to open up in the morning because they’re scared of what they’ll find. Someone must know who these people are and should do the right thing and go to the police.”
Anyone with information should contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.