Thieves break into pre-school and steal cash in Hailsham

Park Pre-School
Park Pre-School
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Staff from a pre-school in Hailsham are counting the cost after a break-in which saw hundreds of pounds and two cameras stolen.

Linda Ruffell, from The Park Pre-School which is based at Hailsham Baptist Chapel, said thieves left a trail of destruction as they smashed through a downstairs window and then went up the stairs to the pre-school and ripped into filing cabinets and forcibly removed the school’s safe.

She said the children are now unable to play in the outside play area as a result of the broken window.

Linda said: “It was a mess, it is just the feeling that somebody has broken in and gone through your stuff. It just really upset me. The safe wasn’t very big, it is about as big as a microwave, but they took it.

“It has hundreds of pounds in it and two cameras.”

She added: “We have an outside area, sort of an undercover area for the children to play in, the window was smashed in that area. At the moment the children don’t have an outside area.”

Linda said the cameras had the memory cards in, and contained pictures of the children to help record their progress and development for their work books.

Linda said she wanted to make the thieves aware of the damage they had caused.

She continued: “I just want to say that we are really upset. But really it is the children that have been upset the most and they are the most important thing at the end of the day.

“It is just not right.”

It is the second time the pre-school has been targetted in just four months.

Linda said: “It happened before over the summer, it was in the summer term.

“It was very similar. They got in through another window and they broke into the vestry. They broke into the vestry both times and then they came up stairs. This time they took a lot more cash.”

Linda said the theft happened sometime over night on Monday October 21. She continued: “We still haven’t cleared everything up. It was just really upsetting.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “We were called at 9am on Tuesday October 22 to reports of a break-in at Hailsham Baptist Church in Market Street, Hailsham. Between 5pm on Monday 21 October and 8am on the Tuesday thieves took a safe and cash belonging to The Park pre-school.”.

Anyone who saw people acting suspiciously in the area or who has heard any information about the incident should call 101 quoting serial 303 of 22 October or email