By Tristan Harris 16/07 Updated: 16/07 14:36
BROMSGROVE'S St John's Middle School has been forced to close for the rest of the week after the building was burgled, causing £50,000 worth of damage.
The thieves gained access through the roof, between 9pm last night (Sunday) and 7am this morning (Monday), and ripped out four large copper water tanks and piping, causing the building to flood and leading to ceilings collapsing in a number of classrooms.
The flooding meant there was no running water available and no electricity, as it had to be switched off because of the flooding. The thieves also stole an air conditioning unit from the side of the building, along with its piping.
Headteacher Wendy Taylor said: "It's just mindless vandalism - these people don't think of the consequences of their actions and just don't care.
"It's an awful time for this to happen because it's the end of term - the time the children look forward to.
"We had a lot of end-of-year assemblies planned, which have had to be cancelled."
She said it was lucky that two events for the year eights, who are moving on after the summer, had already been organised at venues other than the school.
The year eight prize-giving will be at St John's Church and the summer prom is at a local hotel.
Mrs Taylor added it has meant many parents will have had to find childcare at short notice as the children will be off an extra four days.
"I just hope those responsible are caught and I would urge anyone who saw anything or anyone with any information to contact the police," she said.
Officers are now gathering CCTV footage from the area, speaking to people at neighbouring properties, visiting local scrapyards and warning schools in the area to be on their guard.
PC David Hanson said: "The flooding caused by the theft of these tanks has caused damage running into thousands of pounds and led to the closure of the school today.
"The thieves would have needed a large van or flatbed truck to transport the tanks and air conditioning from the scene and would have also created a fair bit of noise while they were there.
"We want to hear from anyone who may have seen a vehicle on the premises after 9pm last night or saw or heard any activity there overnight. Small details can be important to please get in touch if you know anything at all."
Anyone with any information should call PC Hanson on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
A statement on the school website said St John's would be open from 10am to 12midday on Wednesday (July 18) for any children, accompanied by parents, to collect any belongings from classrooms or return any school books that needed returning.
The burglary comes just a couple of weeks after the school had problems with flooding because of heavy rain.
It is also less than a year after the school was targeted by thieves who stole lead flashing and 20 lead and aluminium drainpipes, worth £3,088 - that was in September.
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