Epping St John's ransacked by thieves overnight

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Thieves targeted specific offices in the school Thieves targeted specific offices in the school

 

A gang which ransacked a school got away with thousands of pounds in cash and around 50 iPads, it has emerged.

It is also believed the gang, which were caught on CCTV breaking into St John’s School, in Bury Lane, Eppng, last night, had insider knowledge of where valuables were stored as specific parts of the site were targeted.

It has also emerged that the school’s alarm went off yesterday evening hours before the raid, but security staff who visited the site found no evidence of suspicious activity.

Headteacher George Yerosimou said: “It’s devastating. I’m still in a state of shock but I’ve had to handle the situation.

“They’ve targeted specific areas and they have intelligence.”

Around 29 doors were damaged as the gang ransacked the school.

Mr Yerosimou added: “We believe there were three people initially from what we have seen on the CCTV footage and then another two people who came back later.

“There was no sign of a car having been on site so we believe they may have accessed the site through the pedestrian gate on Lower Bury Lane.

"We found an alarm box had been taken off after the initial visit by the security firm and the wires were disconnected."

The break-in was reported to police at around 6am this morning when caretakers first noticed the damage.

Mt Yerosimou then called police a further two times, at 7am and 9am, before a police constable arrived at around 10am.
Mr Yerosimou said: “I was surprised that after four hours there was still no police presence her.”

Local second hand electrical retailers have been contacted with the serial numbers of the stolen ipads in an attempt to locate the stolen equipment.

The tablets also have a device in them which enables the unit to be tracked as soon as it is turned on.

All staff are working and will begin the clean up as soon as the insurance company have carried out their survey of the premises.

Families were contacted shortly after 7am this morning to inform them the school was closed today but the headteacher hopes to reopen the building tomorrow.

See footage in Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxe4NzF4KI4&feature=c4-overview&list=UUwwTcn0VUPxUPzPNz0BGywg

 

 

Comments (7)

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1:07pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

Why was the cash on the premises anyhow and why were the ipods not securely locked away? probably nobody cares when it is not their property.
Why was the cash on the premises anyhow and why were the ipods not securely locked away? probably nobody cares when it is not their property. Billy Yerache

1:34pm Mon 2 Dec 13

mdj says...

The UK is scoring badly on various indicators for quality of education in recent years.
It would be interesting to compare the UK with countries that are doing better, and see how much computer infrastructure they feel is necessary for young children.
Education is about the mind, not the kit. It hurts to think how much of the endless debt loaded on to PFI schemes will be for plant that will have been binned as obsolete within two or three years.

PS: Is this not the school that moved to a new site, and insisted that parents must therefore shell out hundreds for new bespoke uniforms, from one 'lucky' nominated supplier?
The UK is scoring badly on various indicators for quality of education in recent years. It would be interesting to compare the UK with countries that are doing better, and see how much computer infrastructure they feel is necessary for young children. Education is about the mind, not the kit. It hurts to think how much of the endless debt loaded on to PFI schemes will be for plant that will have been binned as obsolete within two or three years. PS: Is this not the school that moved to a new site, and insisted that parents must therefore shell out hundreds for new bespoke uniforms, from one 'lucky' nominated supplier? mdj

1:43pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Darklady says...

Devastating news for the school, staff and pupils. This new school is in a fairly remote location so let's hope when everything is replaced, the perpetrators don't return. Hopefully it's a lesson to be learned that security of the highest order is key and can never be compromised!!
Devastating news for the school, staff and pupils. This new school is in a fairly remote location so let's hope when everything is replaced, the perpetrators don't return. Hopefully it's a lesson to be learned that security of the highest order is key and can never be compromised!! Darklady

4:38pm Mon 2 Dec 13

myopinioncounts says...

I agree with Billy Yerache about the money and the iPads. The money should have been in a safe and highly portable equipment such as iPads should also be kept overnight in a 'strongroom'. Too many schools lose computers etc because they are left in classrooms with little or no security.
I agree with Billy Yerache about the money and the iPads. The money should have been in a safe and highly portable equipment such as iPads should also be kept overnight in a 'strongroom'. Too many schools lose computers etc because they are left in classrooms with little or no security. myopinioncounts

6:28pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Dave mp says...

Is it only me or does the first one look a bit feminine?
Is it only me or does the first one look a bit feminine? Dave mp

8:08pm Mon 2 Dec 13

Billy Yerache says...

One thing is for sure, the safe was left open or the keys left in the lock as no way could the have broken in that safe.

Sounds like they had inside knowledge indeed and I know where I would be looking.
One thing is for sure, the safe was left open or the keys left in the lock as no way could the have broken in that safe. Sounds like they had inside knowledge indeed and I know where I would be looking. Billy Yerache

9:27am Tue 3 Dec 13

sjc123 says...

Am I reading this right?? The alarm had been disconnected?? and how the hell did they break into that safe?? Inside job surely.

With the greatest respect to the Head teacher, it was a break-in and was not an emergency, although the police turning up at 10am might well have been seen as a slow reaction, nothing could have been done any different had they turned up earlier.

Instead of trying to use the police as a scapegoat, think he needs to be looking at himself and the way in which he manages the school and employs staff, can not believe that it was so easy for them to break in and steal so much.
Am I reading this right?? The alarm had been disconnected?? and how the hell did they break into that safe?? Inside job surely. With the greatest respect to the Head teacher, it was a break-in and was not an emergency, although the police turning up at 10am might well have been seen as a slow reaction, nothing could have been done any different had they turned up earlier. Instead of trying to use the police as a scapegoat, think he needs to be looking at himself and the way in which he manages the school and employs staff, can not believe that it was so easy for them to break in and steal so much. sjc123

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