Antrim principal ‘devastated’ after iPads and laptops stolen

About 50 iPads and 30 laptops were stolen during the break-in
About 50 iPads and 30 laptops were stolen during the break-in

A primary school in Antrim was closed on Wednesday after thousands of pounds worth of computer equipment was stolen during a break-in.

The break-in happened at St Joseph’s Primary School on the Greystone Road some time between midnight and 2am.

School principal Roisin Tracey told the News Letter she and staff members were “devastated” after 50 iPads and about 30 laptops were stolen.

She said they were forced to close for the day to allow police to carry out their investigations.

“One of the windows has been kind of ripped off and left on its hinges and another one in my office has just been completely destroyed,” she said.

“They didn’t really trash the school apart from the entrance and exit points, but took the devices.

“They knew what they were coming for and knew we were a particularly well-resourced school as we do a lot of fund raising to be able to put this in place for children.”

She added that those responsible for the break-in “don’t consider children in any way”.

“The laptops which were connected to smart boards in the classrooms were just ripped off and we are devastated,” she said.

“The devices were for pupils from P1 to P7. They went through every single classroom and it was very targeted.

“We love ICT as a tool and some of our children had their work on the laptops that were stolen, so now we are trying to find out if it was saved and try to get it back.

“We have contacted the Apple store and got the devices blocked.”

She said parents of pupils had offered to help with the clean-up of the school and it would reopen on Thursday.

Police have appealed for anyone with information to contact them.

Sinn Féin councillor Anne Marie Logue said the people who broke into St Joseph’s have deprived an entire community of much-needed facilities.

“These laptops and computers are essential in the teaching of our children.

“St Joseph’s School, like all schools, is facing tight budgets and are now having to look at replacing this equipment and repairing the damage to the school.”