Raider leaves a trail of damage at Little Hoppers pre-school in Felixstowe

Penny Bonnet (left) and Michelle Rudd of Little Hoppers Pre-School in Felixstowe which was broken in

Penny Bonnet (left) and Michelle Rudd of Little Hoppers Pre-School in Felixstowe which was broken in to.

Owners of a pre-school have been left angry and heartbroken after a burglar smashed his way into their building and stole a laptop, cash and a mobile phone.

Penny Bonnet, deputy manager of the Little Hoppers, which she co-owns with manager Michelle Rudd, said the pre-school in Wadgate Road, Felixstowe, had been forced to close for a day while glass was cleaned up and damage repaired.

She said: “It is really horrible, an awful thing to happen. It has left our staff very nervous.

“We closed on Tuesday because it wasn’t safe for children to be in the building with glass about and the police had to carry out their investigations, too.

“This week was our fourth anniversary since opening and we have never had anything like this happen before.”

The burglar climbed over a garden wall at the rear of the Little Hoppers building, a former church, and smashed a window to break in, and then kicked internal door panels to move through the building.

He then broke into the office, taking the four-week old HP notebook laptop, some cash and a phone, before leaving the building via one of the fire exits.

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CCTV captured his movements and it is understood he was seen putting on a hi vis vest as he walked off along Wadgate Road.

Ms Bonnet said the pre-school was insured but really wanted the laptop returned because it had company files on it that were vital to the business.

She said: “When we set up four years ago, we used as much second-hand equipment as we could as we were doing it ourselves and the original laptop we had was from another business. This was the first new one we had had.”

The pre-school, which this week has been running a holiday club, now has 40 children aged birth to four years on its books.

Police said investigations into the incident, which happened between 4.30am and 5am on Tuesday, were ongoing.

They described the offender as white, wearing a hooded top and believed to be wearing a back-pack.

Officers have appealed for anyone who knows the man, or saw someone matching his description in the area around the time, to contact them on 101, quoting crime number 52561/16.