Thieves raid school kitchen, steal four freezers that had food for children of workers amid coronavirus crisis
The theft has left the children of critical workers and staff without any food and they will now have to rely on community donations
Burglars reportedly broke into a school and stole four freezers packed with essential food items meant for the children of critical workers in Essex on the night of March 20 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports state that the thieves broke into Gosfield School in Halstead, Essex, and looted at least four freezers inside the institution's kitchen filled with food. The theft has now left the children of critical workers and staff without any food and they will now have to rely on community donations for their survival. Gosford School is an independent institution, which charges up to $17,551 a year per student and caters for reception up to 6th form.
CCTV camera footage of the incident showed burglars breaking into the school on March 20 night and leaving in the early hours of March 21.
School registrar Caro Daniels said: "It is just rubbish that someone would do this after we worked so hard to get things ready. But the response has been incredible, we have had so much donated by the community."
"We've been given a chest freezer and the loan of a freezer from a school and a restaurant called Pavilion in Colchester brought us the food they were going to throw out," Daniels said, according to the Daily Mail. "We are now able to feed our children for the rest of the term now they are here. The theft was horrible, but the response was incredible."
A school spokesperson also released a statement on the update, saying that certain members of the staff had ventured out to purchase food.
"Members of staff have been into Halstead to purchase food early this morning but with restrictions on what they are allowed to purchase this is not straightforward," the spokesperson said. "Therefore we would respectfully request that all children of key workers who are attending School bring along a packed lunch, nut-free snacks, and a water bottle."
Multiple social users media slammed the incident, some calling the burglars "absolute scum," and demanded a swift prison sentence for those responsible.
"This is utterly awful, I'm so sorry this has happened to you," Facebook user Freya Murkowski said. "Some people amongst us know no morals, I just hope they don't need the support of our health system to fight this virus as they certainly don't deserve it. I hope as a community we can come together to make sure the children are fed. Is there a way you can construct a list and see if people are willing to donate food items to make sure the children and staff are fed?"
While another user Ben Sutton wrote: "Absolute SCUM. Anyone buying/receiving this knocked off gear with knowledge, deserves a prison sentence. Always rely on the scum to reveal itself at the time of community need."
An investigation into the burglary has been launched by Essex Police, with a department spokesperson saying that they received a report about the incident on March 23.
"We received a report today (March 23) reporting a burglary at Gosfield School in Halstead Road, Gosfield," the spokesperson said. "It was reported that between March 21 and 22 food and commercial freezers were removed. If you saw anything, have any CCTV or dash cam footage, or have any other information please call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/44904/20 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."
Schools in the UK have been ordered to close in an attempt to curb the coronavirus spread in the country. The institutions, however, are open to look after the children or critical workers and vulnerable children.