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BREAKING: Man, 29, in custody following theft of lead from church roofs

Wednesday 15th May 2019

A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of stealing lead from churches in Maidstone.

St Mary’s and All Saints at Boxley suffered lead roofing thefts on two occasions with incidents being reported on Thursday 2 May and Saturday 11 May.

Officers from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force made the arrest yesterday evening after locating a suspicious vehicle in Well Road, Maidstone, and searching a nearby address.

A 29-year-old man is now in custody on suspicion of theft and possession of a knife.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw said: “When metal is taken from the roof of a place of worship, it is not just the fabric of the building that is damaged but it affects the wider community.

“The theft of lead from a roof can often go unnoticed until the next period of bad weather by which time there can be internal water damage.  The damage caused can prevent the building being safely used for months at a time. The impact upon the whole community of this crime must not be underestimated.

“The cost to the victims in both replacement and repairs can be substantial. It is a lucrative market for criminals as they can get a good return at scrap metal dealers for their ill-gotten gains. We work with scrapyards to identify people who may be trading in stolen items and will target those who persistently commit these offences.”