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Head's appeal over school computers stolen in burglary

By Amanda Ferguson

Published 18/11/2015

Amanda McNamee
Amanda McNamee

The principal of a Belfast school targeted by thieves fears that stolen computers worth around £50,000 could end up on the black market.

Apple Macs, laptops and other IT equipment were taken from Lagan College on Manse Road in the south of the city during a burglary on Friday.

A further attempt was made to break in again on Sunday.

Head Amanda McNamee told the Belfast Telegraph staff and pupils were distressed by the burglary and damage caused to doors, windows and classrooms.

Mrs McNamee also spoke of her disappointment that "thieves have targeted a school environment".

"There was a break-in on Friday evening," she said.

"Around 25 Apple Macs and 20 laptops and other items were stolen.

"We have CCTV footage and other evidence for the PSNI.

"Police were excellent supporting us over the weekend.

"We are hopeful of getting the equipment back.

"There was another attempt to break in on Sunday night.

"Thieves were disturbed and made off, leaving behind important evidence for the police."

Parents and students were briefed about the burglary and assurances have been offered that children's coursework has not been lost, but has been saved to the cloud-based back-up system.

Mrs McNamee appealed to anyone offered computer equipment from an unknown source to call the PSNI.

"If people are offered IT equipment on the black market, I would encourage them to contact the police because it is all of our children's learning that gets targeted when thieves steal school equipment."

Lagan College is the latest school to be targeted by thieves.

In October St Michael's Primary in Belfast had a washing machine and 21 laptops stolen during a break-in.

And Carrick Primary in Lurgan was also raided.

Sergeant Brian Rafferty asked anyone with information about the Lagan College case to contact police at Castlereagh on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously via the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.

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