Charity laptops stolen from St Albans community centre during break-in

PUBLISHED: 06:00 09 September 2016

The thieves left through the back of the building in an unknown direction

The thieves left through the back of the building in an unknown direction

Archant

Drop-in computer lessons run by a charity could be disrupted after their laptops were stolen during a break-in at a community centre they use regularly.

Nine laptops and 10 tablet computers were taken from the community centreNine laptops and 10 tablet computers were taken from the community centre

Nine laptops were taken from Fleetville Community Centre in Royal Road, St Albans, after thieves forced open the rear window of the building between 5.30pm and 6.30am on Sunday, August 21.

The office door inside was smashed and all the cupboard locks were broken. Ten tablet computers belonging to the centre and a set of speakers belonging to the New Testament Church of God in St Albans were also stolen. The thieves made their escape through the back of the building.

Computer Friendly - a charity which provides adults with computer classes - uses the centre to hold drop-in sessions and kept the laptops in a locked cupboard.

Director, Ian Gotts, fears the theft could impact upcoming drop-in sessions.

He said: “There will be some sessions that will be a problem; we will use other laptops that we have but we are looking to see if there is a way we can do this without storing equipment in the centre.

“What we need to do is sort out the funding to replace those that we have lost because the insurance may only partly cover it.”

Community centre manager, Cathie Crowne, believes that the thieves broke down the fence at the back of the building to escape with the speakers.

She said: “They broke a fence down actually to get out and that was when we realised that the big speakers had gone, which is why they probably broke it.

“We’ve been talking about putting CCTV in and we will definitely be putting something in now.“

Anyone with any information can contact Herts Police on the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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