ALMOST all of the outdoor toys at a Bicester pre-school were stolen even though police were aware of the burglary taking place.

Jack and Jill Pre-school on Queens Avenue was broken into on Friday at around 5.30pm.

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Manager Bekki Barker watched the offence unfold on the CCTV remotely where the offenders, who she said were children, broke into the site’s garden and stole toys.

Scooters, footballs and hula hoops were among the items that were taken.

Ms Barker said she saw the thieves take almost all of the play equipment, damage the ones they left behind and urinate on the site.

She said: “It was hard on Friday watching them take all of the stuff without being able to stop it - I think that was the worst bit. I could watch it all unfold on CCTV, but there was nothing I could do. On Saturday we had to clean and disinfect everywhere and they’d used our shed area as a toilet.”

Ms Barker says the thieves broke into the pre-school grounds in the morning and at lunchtime as well.

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She said: “I came down in the morning to meet the police here for the very first time they broke in and the police said ‘don’t get out of your car, it’s not safe to do so, we’ll just continue to do drive-bys and make sure things are okay’.

“And then they broke in a further two times. And I do believe the police attended, but there’s very little they can do about it which from my point is frustrating.”

She said she called the police while the third incident took place when the toys were being stolen, but was told that they could not interfere because it would not be safe.

Ms Barker added: “I was on the phone to police when they were stealing stuff, telling her (call handler) what they were taking out of the garden and she was like ‘the police are on their way’. They did recover a little car and a bike, but I think that was about it. They (thieves) took everything and what they didn’t take they broke.

“We’d even said that if they had come in and played with stuff and left we’d have been a bit annoyed, but we’d have got over it, but to just damage stuff that they didn’t take is vandalism and it’s just not fair.

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“It was quite calculated because the gates were locked so they were literally wheeling the stuff up to the front gate and then using a chain effect to get it over the fence.”

A fundraiser has been set up by Bicester resident Laura Claire to help replace the stolen toys and purchase a shed to keep them safe in the future.

The preschool has also received donations of old toys from parents and Ms Barker said she was grateful for the community spirit.

Thames Valley Police confirmed that officers did attend the scene, however on arrival there were no offenders present. An investigation is ongoing. If you have any information call 101 quoting reference 43210160933.

To donate to the fundraiser, go to

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