5F (Northampton) Squadron suffered a “heartbreaking” start to the new year after thieves stole more than £3,500 of IT and electrical equipment.
Between 0600 and 1400 on Sunday 4th January, thieves forced their way through a fire door into one of the squadron buildings which are located within the grounds of the Northampton TA Centre in Clare Street.
Items stolen included four Dell computer systems (complete with 17” flatscreens, keyboards and mice) a laptop, a Dell colour laser printer, a Brother laser printer and a Phillips desktop photocopier/printer, wireless dongles and ALL power cables. Software worth hundreds of pounds was also taken along with other items such as a pair of top of the range ear defenders for shooting.
When interviewed for the local press, OC 5F Carol Haynes Flt Lt VR(T) said the theft of the computer equipment meant the squadron would not be able to carry out their usual activities for the next few months. She said “We have 76 cadets and run an internal Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. All records are logged on the computers and without them we won’t be able to run the awards programme. We never expected this to happen on an MOD site. I cannot believe people had the gall to come in and do something like this to a cadet unit. It’s not like we are the army, the cadets are kids. It is heartbreaking because the only people who are going to miss out are the cadets.
Unfortunately, the unit was not insured for the loss of the equipment so it will need to be replaced from donations or fundraising. Flt Lt Haynes said “People have worked so hard to raise the money for the squadron and for this to happen is a real pain. We have a great bunch of cadets and staff here and they deserve the best because they work so hard for it.”
Following a media appeal using local BBC radio and TV, local newspapers and networking sites Facebook and Twitter, the squadron has received many offers of help and support from businesses and individuals ranging from computer systems to money.
5F would also like to thank Northamptonshire police for their speedy and professional response.
Written by CI Dawn Upton