THOUSANDS of pounds of computer equipment has been stolen from a Wigan school.
An unknown number of thieves broke into Hawkley Hall High School on Tuesday night at 9.45pm and took 17 iMac computers from the design and technology classroom.
The offenders triggered the school’s alarm but managed to flee with the equipment.
But the school, on Carr Lane in Hawkley Hall, has said that the computers, which are particularly used by year 11 product design GCSE students, are fitted with software that renders them useless if they are removed from school property.
Head of school Jo McGoran said: “On Tuesday thieves broke into a design and technology classroom at Hawkley Hall High School and 17 iMac computers were stolen.
“These computers were provided for the children to enhance their learning. In particular they are used by Y11 product design GCSE students when completing their coursework.
“So, in effect, these thieves have stolen from the children of Hawkley Hall, impacting upon their learning in the process.
“The irony of the situation is that all computers at Hawkley Hall High School are equipped with specialist software which will render them obsolete once removed from the school site.
“As the thieves will not be able to sell this equipment, the iMacs which were stolen will ultimately have to be discarded or destroyed by the thieves.”
Greater Manchester Police confirmed that a theft at the school had been reported to them on Tuesday and they were investigating but no arrests had been made.
The break-in happened just two weeks after callous thieves stole £17,000 worth of equipment from a community fishery in Appley Bridge.
Fir Tree Fishery provides a one-to-one specialist education centre for children and disabled people on top of its regular angling trade.
But the break-in overnight on September 23 has left parts of the not-for-profit organisation, unable to operate.
The thieves broke into the education centre at the fishery and took all the computers and digital cameras as well as making off with some fishing tackle.
Owner Martin Taylor said that some of the equipment had been paid for by a grant they had recently recieved from Wigan Council.
He said: “It’s just absolutely gutting. It’s unbelievable that people would stoop so low.
“A lot of the stuff taken though was vital like tablets used by children with autism.”
But the community has rallied and the fishery has recieved donations of fishery tackle from residents.
Among the items taken were Sony laptops, digital cameras and new Preston Innovation 360 boxes as well as fishing poles.
Anyone with details is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.