MORE than 100 children face the cancellation or postponement of their Christmas and new year shows after burglars struck at a music school in St Neots.

Thieves smashed their way into temporary buildings at Little End Road industrial estate last weekend, stealing power tools and instruments worth thousands of pounds from Peppercorns Music Academy.

During the break-in, which happened overnight on December 3, sets, props and scenery boards for the academy’s three forthcoming productions were destroyed.

Manager Simon Muzolf, 24, said the incident had left staff, students and parents devastated.

He said: “Everyone knows businesses get broken into and people get burgled on a regular basis in this town, but breaking into a music academy is beyond belief.”

Thieves stole power tools worth up to £3,000 plus a £500 generator, as well as two flutes of sentimental value to Mr Muzolf and his family. One belonged to his sister, Emma, and was more than 20 years old, while the other was his mother Caroline’s first flute and was more than 40 years old.

The company has been established for more than 30 years, and runs musical theatre classes and music lessons for 500 members aged from four years old, as well as working with junior schools in St Neots.

One Peppercorns show scheduled for this weekend has been pushed back to March, and others will follow suit unless the company can replace the tools and begin set-building again.

A carol recital held on Sunday had to be scaled back because of the break-in.

Mr Muzolf said: “We could only afford fairy lights from B&Q – it’s a shame for the children because people pay money to come here and we want to give something back to them.

“These burglars will have made next to no money from the power tools, but they have affected those kids having a good time. I hope the people who have done this have a bit of remorse.”

Mr Muzolf is waiting to find out if his insurance will cover the cost as the items were stored in temporary buildings.

Section Inspector Mark Greenhalgh of Cambridgeshire police said non-domestic burglaries, which include those from industrial estates, had fallen 11 per cent from last year, but problem areas were reviewed daily.

INFORMATION: Anyone with information should call DC Sue Swales on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.