Claydon: Thieves steal laptops from Suffolk charity

CLAYDON: It may be the season of goodwill to all, but one charity for children with disabilities is today counting the cost of a callous burglary.

The Out and About offices in Old Ipswich Road, Claydon, were broken into late on Tuesday evening after the charity’s staff had gone home. They arrived on Wednesday morning to find three of their laptops had been stolen, and burglars had also rifled through drawers and cupboards for anything else they could steal.

Three other companies based in the same building were also targeted, with another two laptops and a flat screen television stolen.

Charity chief executive Steve Allman said: “I know it’s not exactly the crime of the century, but at the same time, we are a charity and you don’t expect people to steal from a charity.

“We are hardly minted. We are not a commercial company so we are really lucky when we get given IT equipment, or we have to get grants specifically for it so we don’t divert any funds away from our services.

“We had the police here all morning so we had to send everybody home and lost a day of running the charity, and we have to try to get these items back through our insurance company.

“We are probably having our most difficult year ever in terms of fundraising. Our donations from individuals and companies have dried up because of the economy, so it’s not like we can just go out and replace them easily.

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“This is a really low act. I can’t believe someone would come and pinch equipment that we have had to fundraise to get.”

Even if the charity can get the laptops replaced through an insurance claim, buying new software and having the computers installed on its system could still cost up to �2,000.

Mr Allman added that staff at the charity had also been shaken up by the incident and many were worried about safety around the area.

Police are investigating the burglary, in which a total of �3,500 of equipment was stolen, and are asking anyone who might have been in the area at the time, or who has other information about the crime, to call Pc Mark Simpson on 101.

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