Thieves target St Andrew’s Church for lead

THREE people have been arrested after a church on Goldsworth Park had parts of its roof ripped off for lead scrap.

St Andrew’s Church has taken sweeping steps to deter thieves after being targeted five times.

CONCERN - Canon Richard Cook

CONCERN – Canon Richard Cook

“In addition to installing additional security lighting, motion detectors and cameras, church members will be setting up a watch rota to keep an eye on the building,” said Churchwarden Barry Nay.

“All the metals on and around the church building, from railings to roof flashings, are being marked with SmartWater to deter future would-be thieves.

“This contains a code visible only under ultraviolet light, revealing the rightful owner.”

The church vicar, Canon Richard Cook, spent half the night in the church grounds on Friday, and was undisturbed.

But in the early hours of Sunday morning thieves returned to plunder more lead, with no one around to notice until the morning’s service.

Canon Cook explained: “I noticed a rucksack and cutting knife on the ground on Sunday morning. I rang 999 and a PCSO came out. I explained the situation to him and then just as I was leaving to attend the afternoon service, I got a call from the same PCSO.

“He said I may be interested to know that three people have been arrested and are currently in the cells at Guildford.”

As the tough economic times put a strain on people trying to make a living, many are resorting to illegal measures to make ends meet, unaware of the risks involved.

Recycling stations across the country are currently offering an exchange of £1 for every kilogram of lead.

This makes it an attractive prospect for opportunist thieves looking to cash in.







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