Thieves who broke into a Colne children’s nursery have left staff to deal with the consequences and chaos over Christmas.
Toddle in Nursery, in North Valley Road, was targeted overnight on December 3rd when a safe containing cash, cheques and computer back-ups was stolen.
Now owner of the North Valley Road site Jessica Webber has spoken of her devastation, in the hope it will encourage witnesses to step forward.
She is offering a “substantial” reward for anybody who can provide information leading to the arrest of the suspect/s.
Miss Webber, who is now having to find alternative ways of funding staff wages and the youngsters’ festive celebrations, said: “The safe was bolted down so I have no idea how they have got it. It is coming up to Christmas, and this is just gutting.
“We hardly ever have cash on the premises overnight, and that makes this break-in even more upsetting.
“They didn’t make a huge mess, but one of the filing cabinet’s doors has been ripped off.
“And although we have insurance, money isn’t going to come through for a while.
“We get extra staff over Christmas, so the wage book in December is always bigger than any other - it is literally the worst time it could have happened.
“Now we are going to be investing in a new monitored CCTV and alarm system and it is a shame we are having to do this when it’s going to cost a huge amount of money which could have been much better spent on resources for the children, including a new outdoor play area that we were saving for.”
This is not the first time that the nursery has been targeted. Around three years ago, the site and surrounding premises were broken into, leading Miss Webber to issue a warning to anybody in the area.
She added: “It’s worth other people keeping their ear to the ground.”
Police confirmed that they had received reports of the incident in the early hours of December 4th.
They said the offenders went to the back of the property and removed a padlock from the metal gate, before making their way through the kitchen, and into the nursery office.
A police spokesman said: “If anyone noticed anybody acting suspiciously, either overnight, or in the day or two leading up to the incident, then please call 101.”