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COMPUTER THIEVES HIT SCHOOL AGAIN; pounds 32,000 worth of laptops stolen over weekend Staff reeling after second theft in under six months.

Byline: duncan gibbons

STAFF and pupils at a Rugby secondary school were today reeling after the theft of pounds 32,000 worth of computer equipment last night.

It is the second time in under six months that high-value hardware has been stolen from Avon Valley School in Newbold.

Last night's raid saw 32 laptops, worth pounds 1,000 each, disappear.

At the end of June, 31 laptops, data cards and power supplies worth pounds 28,000 were taken while pupils were taking part in a concert.

In each case the burglars avoided security patrols to gain access to a first-floor classroom using 40ft ladders.

Warwickshire Police said it was too early to link the raids but said they would be "looking at the similarities."

A spokeswoman added: "We would urge anyone who is offered computer equipment for sale in unusual or suspicious circumstances to contact Rugby police or Crime-stoppers immediately."

Nobody from the school was available for comment.

Cllr Tom Cavanagh (Lab, Newbold), a former governor at Avon Valley School, said: "I am really sorry to hear that they have suffered this burglary again.

"The hardware can be replaced but if the students' work has gone walkabout then that's going to be a hard knock for them to deal with."

It is believed the computers are linked via a radio system and could be disabled.

Anyone with information should phone Rugby police on 01788 541111 or Crime-stoppers on 0800 555 111.
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Dec 2, 2002
Words:241
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