THIEVES forced their way into a shed at a popular pre-school this week and stole some of the children’s favourite toys.

Sadberge Pre-school, which is based at the village hall in Sadberge, near Darlington, was targeted by burglars on Monday night, into the early hours of Tuesday morning, and several toys including a three-seater educational trike, worth £500, were stolen.

It has emerged this morning this morning that the trike has been recovered, but is damaged and will need to be repaired.

The fundraiser is still ongoing to repair the damged trike, replace some toys and help towards the cost of a more secure outbuilding.

We are still unsure as to where the trike was recovered from and are waiting for word from the police.

Manager Tracey Reed discovered the break-in when she arrived for work on Tuesday morning.

She said: “The toys were locked away in a shed and the police said it looked like the thieves had been looking for the bike in particular, because they had moved other things out of the way. There was other equipment in there and the bike was at the back.

“There was quite a lot of damage done which will have to be repaired, and we have been advised to get a new shed, so we’re grateful that people are fundraising.

“They also stole some of the pans that the children used in the mud kitchen and plastic plates and cups that they use to eat with, although these were thrown away down the road.”

She said the children had seen the damage to the shed when they arrived, because she had been advised not to move anything before police forensics officers had swept the area.

Ms Reed added: “We told the children that someone very naughty has broken in and they are aware that the bike has gone.

“We kept it all very positive with the children, letting them know that the police were there to help us.

“They asked where the bike was because it is their favourite one."

A Durham Constabulary spokeswoman said: “To break into anybody’s property is a callous crime in itself, but the fact that this suspect has stolen from young children makes this a truly despicable act. The trike was an important part of the pre-school. It was quite a distinctive looking trike so we are asking people to be on alert – if anyone sees a trike matching this description that is for sale, or has been dumped in the Darlington area, please get in touch with us.

“Likewise, if anyone saw anybody acting suspiciously in the Sadberge area on Monday night, please contact us as soon as possible.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Durham Constabulary on 101.

Anyone wanting to help replace the toys can visit: