Bring back our dinosaur, say crestfallen Welwyn Garden City tots

PUBLISHED: 11:25 29 June 2018

Creswick Pre-School staff Lauren Tracy (L), Nikki Neighbour (M) and Tayler Cox (R) with children at the pre-school. Picture: DANNY LOO

Creswick Pre-School staff Lauren Tracy (L), Nikki Neighbour (M) and Tayler Cox (R) with children at the pre-school. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

The children at a Welwyn Garden City preschool are appealing to the thieves who stole their playground ornament.

The two remaining dinosaurs. Picture: DANNY LOOThe two remaining dinosaurs. Picture: DANNY LOO

Over the weekend of June 22, thieves entered the playground of Creswick Pre-School on Sir John Newsom Way, and stole a large plastic brontosaurus along with other concrete animal-shaped ornaments.

The dinosaur and animals were of enormous sentimental value, as they were bought with a donation from a long-time friend and volunteer at the school, who passed away in 2011 and was the husband of a staff member.

“The children actually loved them, they really take an interest in learning from them,” said preschool leader Nikki Neighbour.

“We’re really devastated, it’s definitely had a knock-on effect on the team.”

Creswick Pre-School. Picture: Google StreetviewCreswick Pre-School. Picture: Google Streetview

Now the pre-school staff have to carry the remaining dinosaurs indoors at night to prevent further thefts.

“We never thought that we’d have to do that,” said Nikki.

“You think you’re safe and you’d think people would be respectful.

“We thought they would be there for a good few years and entertain the children for a long time.”

The thieves also left graffiti on the walls of the preschool, which is “not appropriate to share”, according to Nikki.

“I don’t understand why anyone would do this,” she said.

Police are currently investigating and have asked anyone who saw suspicious activity in the area between 6pm on Friday, June 22 and 2.30pm on Sunday, June 24 to come forward.

A spokesperson asked: “Have you seen items matching the description discarded anywhere in the local area?”

The other ornaments, all made of concrete, are two hedgehogs, a sheep, and concrete chickens.

The dinosaur is around one metre high and one metre wide.

Police are asking anyone with information to email the Hertfordshire Constabulary Investigation Management Unit on imu@herts.pnn.police.uk, report online at https://www.herts.police.uk/Report or by calling the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference 41/10646/18.

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