A mystery milk snatcher has swiped around 1,000 cartons of milk from children at a Blackpool primary school over a four-month period.
Teachers at Kincraig Primary School, in Bispham, first noticed that milk was going missing from the school’s regular morning deliveries in June.
CCTV footage appears to show a hooded figure accompanied by a small dog jumping over the fence and walking off with the milk.
In one video, dated June 18, another person stands in wait at the gate until the suspect returns from the school grounds and hands them their haul.
Headteacher Karen Appleby said: “Our milk gets delivered between midnight and 2am every morning. The delivery men have a key and they come and put the milk in an allocated place.
“We noticed that a sleeve of cartons was missing, but when we checked CCTV we couldn’t see anything. It happened on and off until the end of the term, and we noticed this regular character, but unfortunately for us he has always got his hood up and you can’t see his face.
“He jumps over the railings with his little dog following him and helps himself to as much milk as he wants.
“At first he was only taking a couple of sleeves. Since we have got back in September, it has been happening every single day, and it’s a lot more.
“On Thursday, 10 sleeves were stolen, which was 120 cartons.”
The number of cartons stolen by the mystery thief is estimated to be around 1,000.
She said teachers had taken to using their own cash to replace the milk, which is given to pupils free of charge as part of a balanced diet.
“We don’t want them to go without it,” she said. “It’s not so bad when it’s just one sleeve because there’s always some days when children don’t want milk, but since September we have had to go out and buy quite a lot of milk.
“He must have taken nearly 1,000 cartons of milk since June. He comes at different times so somebody would have to sleep outside to catch him in the act, and we can’t do that.
“We get discretionary food parcels here at the school, and if anyone walked off the street and said they had no money and no food we would never turn them away, and if he was desperate enough to take just a couple of cartons of milk I could understand.
“But when it’s 120 of them in one night it comes to a bit more than desperation.”
The school appealed to parents for information about the mystery milk thief this week.
Mrs Appleby said; “The parents have been really supportive and quite a few of them said they would be willing to sit outside and keep watch.
“We have had quite a few private messages with information and it’s all about the same person so hopefully the police will have something to go on now.
“I love our parents as they can always be relied upon to help and support us.”
A police spokesman said: “We have had this reported to us as going on since June. It looks like potentially a man has been taking the cartons of milk.
"It is under investigation so if anyone has any information they can contact us on 101 quoting the log number 838 of September 19.”