A number of iPads have been recovered in the Castlebalfour Park area of Lisnaskea – believed to have been stolen from a nearby primary school.
On Monday at approximately 7.50pm, police received a report that a number of iPads had been found in the estate in Lisnaskea.
The police attended the scene and retrieved the iPads which are believed to have been taking during the burglary at the Moat Primary School on Sunday evening. The heartless thieves struck as 50 of the children’s iPads were stolen in ‘a direct attack on children’ in the mouth of Christmas.
At around 10pm on Sunday evening, police were alerted to suspicious activity at the school and found that the property had been ransacked, with approximately 50 iPads stolen. The estimated cost of the iPads is around £15,000 – money which had been fund-raised by the parent teacher association.
The school remained closed on Monday while police carried out investigations, and reopened to pupils again yesterday (Tuesday). Felicity Humphreys, principal of Moat Primary School, told the Herald approximately £15,000 worth of iPads was stolen in the burglary.
“I feel so sorry for our PTFA and our parents who have fundraised and given so generously for the iPads for their children to use it as a tool to support their learning. As a school we wanted to ensure our pupils had access to this very important learning tool which the pupils use in so many ways. It is sad that there are those who think nothing of hindering the learning by stealing these pupils’ e-learning tool.”
Erne East Councillor Victor Warrington condemned the break-in at The Moat Primary school in Lisnaskea saying, “It was obviously a well thought out burglary, they knew what they wanted and specifically targeted the iPads. It’s a direct attack on the children and it is disruptive for them.
“To break in and steal children’s learning aids and create significant damage is a disgraceful act of criminality. We want our children to get the best opportunities from their educational experience, instead we have here some of the worst type of actions from people.”
On Monday, the teachers put up their Christmas decorations for the reopening of the school because they did not want to dwell on the incident.
Ms Humphreys continued: “We all felt sickened but we must rise up and put this behind us. Tomorrow is a new day and we will keep the chin up! Parents have been contacting the school to offer their help and we are very grateful.
“We would appeal for anyone with information to come forward to the PSNI. Please be on the lookout for iPads being sold over the next few weeks as they are all new iPads.”
Detective Inspector Trevor Stevenson is appealing for information: “A full investigation is now underway and I would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information to contact detectives in Enniskillen on 101.”
Meanwhile, a company which specialises in Apple repairs has kindly donated £2,000 to the Moat Primary School. They have also set up a Justgiving page to raise £6,510 to replace the stolen iPads and plan to provide the school with iPads at cost price.