Burglars use axe to break in and steal laptops from charity in Kettering

The break-in at Groundwork in Kettering
The break-in at Groundwork in Kettering

Burglars used an axe to smash their way into a charity before turning over the office and stealing laptops, tablets and a camera.

Staff at Groundwork Northamptonshire discovered the break-in when they arrived at their office at the Business Exchange in Rockingham Road, Kettering, yesterday (Thursday) morning.

The mess left after the break-in

The mess left after the break-in

An axe is believed to have been used by the intruders to smash a window to get in and then ransack the premises, including going through drawers and rummaging through paperwork.

Operations director Kate Williams said: “They smashed the window to get through, but it’s more about what they took.

“They have taken 11 laptops, three tablets and a camera and they have turned the whole office upside down.

“It’s a charity and everything is so valuable because we have to work so hard to get it, especially with things like the equipment.

“It’s the down-time too, a lot of members of staff don’t have a laptop and won’t have one for four or five days until they get a new one.”

Forensic officers have been out to take fingerprints from the scene and take away the axe left there, although the charity is keen for anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious between 6pm on Wednesday and 7.30am yesterday to contact police.

Kate said: “We have door-knocked along Dryden Street and we are waiting on one or two people to come back to us in case they have any information, we have been to Sainsburys as well.”

While the charity waits to see the outcome of the police investigation, they have been busy trying to clear up the office and get back to normal as soon as they can.

Kate said: “Staff have had to work from home or go to another office, and four or five of us have been clearing up.

“This has caused a good week’s worth of disruption which we could do without.

“We have had things stolen before and we were broken into at the Green Patch a while back so it’s a bit of a double-whammy for us, especially on the insurance.”

A spokesman for Northants Police said: “The break-in was reported to us and it is believed to have occurred between 6pm and 7am the next day.

“The property was searched and items stolen.”

Groundwork Northamptonshire provides training and creates jobs, as well as trying to reduce energy and waste, re-connect people with nature and transform whole neighbourhoods.

For more information about the charity and its work click here

Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to call the police on 101.