'Nuisance' thieves strip £1,000 of lead from Kingskerswell church roof
A VICAR has condemned 'nuisance' thieves who stole £1,000 of lead from the roof of his church.
The tiles were ripped off St Mary's Church in Kingskerswell — an historic Grade II-listed structure dating back to the 14th century.
Rev John Leonard thinks the thieves used a wheelbarrow to take the lead from the church to a waiting vehicle.
The cost of the repairs will be about £5,000.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
He said: "We are talking about £1,000 worth of tiles, but the repairs will possibly be in excess of £5,000. The way they removed the lead by ripping it from the roof means they've probably caused some other damage.
"It is a nuisance really. It took hours just to stop the rain water pouring in the building.
"It is drying out nicely now, but it is not just the theft of the lead. It is also having to have it repaired and all the work involved. It will probably also put our insurance premiums up."
The tiles were taken from the building in Church End Road overnight between February 13 and 14.
They were stolen from the flat roof of what is probably the oldest part of the church.
Rev Leonard had only replaced the tiles about 18 months ago and due to their thickness and quality they were due to last the church another 150 years.
The lead was marked with a Smartwater crime number which can be read using ultraviolet light to trace the rightful owner.
Rev Leonard said the last theft of lead from the roof was 15 years ago.
He added: "There are tracks in the churchyard and I think what has happened is they have taken the tiles by wheelbarrow to a van waiting in Foredown Lane."
Police have appealed for witnesses to call 101 quoting crime reference JN/13/417.
In another reported incident thieves attempted to steal lead from Decoy Community Primary School in Newton Abbot.
They left empty handed.
It happened between Tuesday, February 12, and Wednesday, February 13.
Quote crime number JN/13/399.