Shock as gang smash into Blackburn nurseries stealing thousands of pounds

Shock as gang smash into Blackburn nurseries stealing thousands of pounds

Shock as gang smash into Blackburn nurseries stealing thousands of pounds

First published in News
Last updated
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A GANG smashed their way into five children’s nurseries to steal thousands of pounds in cash and laptop computers.

Shocked staff arrived at work yesterday to find offices and classrooms broken into at the nurseries in Blackburn and Rishton.

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Nursery teachers said youngsters were ‘visibly upset’ at the sight of smashed glass and police vans. Police said it was thought the same gang carried out all five raids.

Westholme Nursery and Infant School, Oscar Bears Nursery, Willow Tree Day Nursery, and The Riverside Nursery, all in Blackburn, and First Class Day Nursery, in Rishton, were targeted, officers said.

Kerry Martin, manager at Oscar Bears Nursery, in Pleasington Street, said £80 raised by her toddlers for the Barnardo's children’s charity was amongst the money stolen.

She said: “It’s just horrible. The police said they have got CCTV from one of the other nurseries, but ours didn’t catch them.

“The children are really upset, it’s terrible. There was a spate last year where we were targeted four times.

“The kids come here to learn and to feel safe and to have smashed glass everywhere and police vans in the morning is hard for them.

“We did the Barnardo's Big Toddle sponsored walk and we are just devastated that the hard work was all for nothing. It happened with the money we collected for Red Nose Day last year too.”

A three-figure sum of cash was also stolen from a locked drawer in the nursery’s office, along with a laptop computer after burglars smashed their way through the front door.

Zeenat Lulat, manager of Willow Tree Day Nursery, said a four-figure sum of cash was taken from the safe of her office in Adelaide House, Dukes Brow.

She added: “Obviously we are upset and sad. The children struggled to come in because the glass of the door had been smashed.

“We’re working with the police and we’re just glad nothing else was taken.”

Sgt Andy Horne, crime and tasking co-ordinator for Lancashire police’s East division, said up to 20 officers were working on the case.

He said: “Potentially they are the same gang but we can’t rule anything out at this stage. They are all very low-tech, forced entry burglaries and searches have targeted office areas.

“At Westholme they targeted the staff room and there wasn’t anything taken. At Willow Tree they’ve taken the safe and we’ve had crime scene investigators down there.

“First Class is the only one that we have a more precise time for. A window was smashed in at 10.55pm on Sunday.

“At Oscar Bears there were cash charity tins taken and a laptop. There’s not a huge distance between all the nurseries and it’s likely whoever did this had access to a vehicle.

“This is a top priority for us. It’s not high-impact in the sense that there was no-one present when they happened, but stuff like this, especially when it affects and frightens kids, does undermine community confidence.

“We’ve had our neighbourhood teams down to the nurseries to reassure people and I know most of them have spoken to the kids to explain what’s happened.

“Figures for crimes like this have been lower this summer than last year but clearly for four or five to happen overnight, that’s an aberration.

“Normally this would remain with investigating officers but because we are taking it so seriously we’ve got about 20 people across various teams involved.”

Sgt Horne said police were studying CCTV and had identified some possible lines of enquiry.

Vivienne Davenport, commercial director at Westholme School, said: “We are very fortunate in that our alarm worked and scared them off.

“They actually broke into the staff room and not the main office so there wouldn’t have been much there. They didn’t take anything and we are up-and-running as normal.”

Anyone with information about any of the break-ins is asked to contact Lancashire police on 101.

Comments (11)

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8:19am Tue 19 Aug 14

ikap22 says...

Well that's that then, all of the East Lancashire police force is working on this case. Hope the culprits are caught soon and punished the appropriate way.
Well that's that then, all of the East Lancashire police force is working on this case. Hope the culprits are caught soon and punished the appropriate way. ikap22
  • Score: -11

8:19am Tue 19 Aug 14

greenscreener says...

Stealing from toddlers, you must be so proud.
Stealing from toddlers, you must be so proud. greenscreener
  • Score: 42

11:44am Tue 19 Aug 14

phil kernot says...

Scum bags hope Somone catches them red handed and gives them a good hiding ,,,no pointin ringing the police because the courts won't give them the right punishment as jails are full ,,, so a good hiding will work better,,
Scum bags hope Somone catches them red handed and gives them a good hiding ,,,no pointin ringing the police because the courts won't give them the right punishment as jails are full ,,, so a good hiding will work better,, phil kernot
  • Score: 23

1:14pm Tue 19 Aug 14

noddy57 says...

Sections of humanity are fundamentally flawed.
Sections of humanity are fundamentally flawed. noddy57
  • Score: 17

1:56pm Tue 19 Aug 14

topman01 says...

do the asian stlye.if caught red handed kick the living day light out of them then hand them over teach them a good lesson .
do the asian stlye.if caught red handed kick the living day light out of them then hand them over teach them a good lesson . topman01
  • Score: 9

2:04pm Tue 19 Aug 14

topman01 says...

sorry but the crime that committed in this country don't fit the punishment . to soft get away with murder. i love to grab hold of the culprit and kick the living day lights out of him plus get the rest of the street call them over and tell them to do the same. next time he will never put a foot in the area again.
sorry but the crime that committed in this country don't fit the punishment . to soft get away with murder. i love to grab hold of the culprit and kick the living day lights out of him plus get the rest of the street call them over and tell them to do the same. next time he will never put a foot in the area again. topman01
  • Score: 16

2:07pm Tue 19 Aug 14

bow1974 says...

I'd chop off a finger everytime the were caught aswell as giving them a good hiding they would soon have to give there tade up.
I'd chop off a finger everytime the were caught aswell as giving them a good hiding they would soon have to give there tade up. bow1974
  • Score: 9

4:11pm Tue 19 Aug 14

DaveBurnley says...

Reading the above comments suggests that we tend to agree that criminals don't get punished sufficiently. Why is it that our leaders are so soft, could it be that they don't see the pain caused to honest people by these scum?

Or is it simply that they don't care about the general public, protected as they are by their own protection squads?

I'd be perfectly happy to see these people put down, all they will do is keep bleeding the country dry, get rid of them!
Reading the above comments suggests that we tend to agree that criminals don't get punished sufficiently. Why is it that our leaders are so soft, could it be that they don't see the pain caused to honest people by these scum? Or is it simply that they don't care about the general public, protected as they are by their own protection squads? I'd be perfectly happy to see these people put down, all they will do is keep bleeding the country dry, get rid of them! DaveBurnley
  • Score: 15

9:00pm Tue 19 Aug 14

M.DANNY says...

bow1974 wrote:
I'd chop off a finger everytime the were caught aswell as giving them a good hiding they would soon have to give there tade up.
Send them to Saudi Arabia they chop their hands off stealing from small toddlers .
Like i always say you need Burglar alarms and cctv that you can view in iphones and your internet if burgled technology is there so home owners and children nurseries it's always best to install all the best securities as crimes is rising in UK, such as thefts and burglaries .
Police cannot be everywhere and ever streets in Blackburn they need public help to tackle crimes like burglaries and thefts.
[quote][p][bold]bow1974[/bold] wrote: I'd chop off a finger everytime the were caught aswell as giving them a good hiding they would soon have to give there tade up.[/p][/quote]Send them to Saudi Arabia they chop their hands off stealing from small toddlers . Like i always say you need Burglar alarms and cctv that you can view in iphones and your internet if burgled technology is there so home owners and children nurseries it's always best to install all the best securities as crimes is rising in UK, such as thefts and burglaries . Police cannot be everywhere and ever streets in Blackburn they need public help to tackle crimes like burglaries and thefts. M.DANNY
  • Score: 2

11:08pm Tue 19 Aug 14

topman01 says...

where there is a blame theres a claim to soft. i'm telling u if there is a hasher punishment in this country they will think twice to do crimes. I know u can't rid of crimes that easily but u could cut it down. this government need to get there acts together and stop interfering with other countries.
where there is a blame theres a claim to soft. i'm telling u if there is a hasher punishment in this country they will think twice to do crimes. I know u can't rid of crimes that easily but u could cut it down. this government need to get there acts together and stop interfering with other countries. topman01
  • Score: 3

11:23pm Wed 20 Aug 14

2 for 5p ridesagain says...

Nursery Cryme. ( genises). Oh where is the laugh

You all seem to be overlooking one thing 5 children's nurserys in one night , they all knew what they were after. This screams inside job to me.
Or am I being cynical
Nursery Cryme. ( genises). Oh where is the laugh You all seem to be overlooking one thing 5 children's nurserys in one night , they all knew what they were after. This screams inside job to me. Or am I being cynical 2 for 5p ridesagain
  • Score: 2
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