Pupils left stranded in Belford after thieves steal school minibus
PUPILS at St Mary’s Middle School in Belford have been left stranded after thieves stole their minibus.
The bus, a blue Ford Transit, was broken into and stolen from the school car park at Williams Way in Belford last week.
Head teacher Lynne Brookes said: “I found the broken glass in the car park and I couldn’t believe it had gone. We just can’t believe this has happened.
“We’re really dependent on that bus - everybody who lives in a rural area will tell you, you need transport! Without a bus we’re stuck.”
Mrs Brookes discovered the broken glass in the car park last Wednesday. “I thought my caretaker must have parked the bus round the back, and he thought the scouts must have borrowed it. But then I found the glass,” she said.
“We’re quite isolated here so we’re dependent on the bus, we used it all the time.”
The school children are already feeling the effects of the theft, with any planned outings having to be cancelled.
“We were supposed to go for a school council meeting in Berwick this week which we won’t be able to make, and then there’s all the sports fixtures,” Mrs Brookes said.
“We have quite small classes so we used to be able to take a class with the mini bus plus a staff car, that’s how we could manage, but we just can’t do it without the minibus.”
Police believe the bus may have taken for parts. “It was quite old, which is probably why they stole it, because it didn’t have all the mod cons like an immobiliser or burglar alarm. But the engine was sound and it had new seats and tyres,” Mrs Brookes said.
“Unfortunately we’ll just get the book value through the insurance, and that won’t be anything like what the bus was worth to us.
“I feel upset to think that somebody would steal from children,” she added. “It’s just sad to think that someone would take something away from rural children whose horizons are quite limited without it.
“It has been quite a serious blow to us.”
Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact them. The 17-seater blue Ford Transit, registration W329 PPR, was stolen from the school between 6.30pm on Monday, February 4, and 8am on Wednesday, February 6.
Anyone who sees it is asked to contact Northumberland police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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Weather for Berwick-Upon-Tweed
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
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