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SCHOOL HIT BY THE HAMSTER-NAPPERS; Million dollar ransom gang swipes Harri.

Byline: BRENDON WILLIAMS

A TEAM of ruthless kidnappers left a $1million ransom note ... for a pet hamster.

Harri the school hamster was stolen from his classroom in the dead of night and the chilling note left for children to find.

Police forensic experts combed the classroom for clues and a team of detectives are now hunting the hamster thieves.

The kidnappers - thought to be children - scribbled the note on a flip-chart.

It read: "If you would like to see 'H' the Hamster again then leave a million dollars outside."

Luckily, the rodent thieves decided to dump Harri outside the school and he was found the next morning by a passer-by.

But North Wales Police confirmed they are treating the kidnapping seriously.

A spokesman said yesterday: "Scenes of crime officers have been examining the school for evidence to pinpoint who is responsible for the burglary."

It is believed forensic experts found blood which may have been left by a crook at the Collis Primary School near Machynlleth, mid Wales.

The police spokesman added: "We have many schools broken into.

"There are valuable computers in the schools and while it was only a hamster this time it could be something else next time."

Headteacher Olwen Puw Griffiths said: "It turns out it was a laugh and a joke by the burglars, but we're taking it very seriously.

"The children are being told that it's wrong to break into other people's property."

She added: "Harri is all right now. The children made a big fuss of him, as they always do.

"He's fine, he doesn't know what all the fuss is about."

CAPTION(S):

RODENT RETURNS: Schoolboy Dewi Rowlands with Harri the hamster who was non-the-worse for his kidnap ordeal
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 31, 2002
Words:287
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