THIEVES caused thousands of pounds of damage to a school ... to grab just a laptop.
They smashed a way into Leigh Church of England Junior’s classrooms before stealing a single computer.
But dismayed teachers returning to the school after the bank holiday break found that the intruders had also chosen to hurl school items through countless windows during the raid.
Staff then had the dispiriting task of having to clean up the showers of broken panes before the school, on Henrietta Street, could re-open.
Amazingly, in a show of brazen defiance, it is believed that the same culprits were responsible for breaking more windows the following day.
More than 20 windows were destroyed in total.
Headteacher Mr Stephen Callaghan said that he didn’t think the school had been deliberately targeted by the hooligans. But the windows were smashed initially because they were nearest to the road.
He revealed that it is believed the suspected-teenage attackers had forced open a basement door to gain access to the school.
They then ran up the main staircase in the assembly hall to steal the laptop.
After bashing their way into a store room they found a catering sized bottle of tomato ketchup before smearing the contents all over the walls.
But then must have made an even more malicious attempt get as much as they did onto the ceiling.
Mr Callaghan pointed out that the fact the shards of glass from the smashed windows went over cooking utensils used for preparing the school meals for pupils, showed the contempt the intruders had for the safety of pupils.
Mr Callaghan said: “All in all it was a hell of mess – a laptop was stolen but the rest was unwarranted vandalism.
“They then returned on Tuesday and smashed the four windows they hadn’t managed to break on the Friday.”
The school said that the broken windows, currently boarded up, will be replaced with special smash-proof panes in an attempt to make sure that this upsetting incident doesn’t re-occur.
Mr Callaghan said that the costs now facing the school will have to be found from already tight budgets.
And teachers faced a tough task to ensure that the vandals didn’t end up making pupils suffer a reduction in the quality of their learning while repairs are carried out.