THIEVES who robbed a local church have been branded the “absolute lowest of the low”.
Police have said lead, thought to be valued at around £500, was removed from the roof of Abbots Cross Presbyterian Church sometime between Thursday, August 2 and Wednesday, August 8.
It is understood the church has been targeted in similar crimes previously.
Newtownabbey councillor and representative for the area, John Scott, said he was “totally disgusted” at the “despicable” act.
“This is terrible,” he told the Times, “I would utterly condemn this theft, which is actually an attack on the community.
“This is totally and utterly despicable and those that have carried it out are the absolute lowest of the low.
“I would condemn this and urge anyone who may know something about this to report what they know to the police.”
Also encouraging anyone with information about the theft to contact investigating officers at Newtownabbey Station, a PSNI spokeswoman added: “Local police would ask residents to look out for unusual or suspicious activity at all churches, used or otherwise. Workmen working at unusual times or out-of-the ordinary comings and goings can all be signs of illegal activity.
“Churches and congregations are also urged to sign up to D District’s ‘Church Watch’ scheme, which provides up-to-date and localised crime prevention information and advice shared with churches of all denominations throughout the district via email. Those on the contact list will be sent regular information on local crime trends, warnings about bogus callers or particular relevant incidents, along with police literature for display in church buildings.
“The churches will also be given a specific Church Watch leaflet and poster for them to deliver to properties that overlook church buildings and to issue to nearby businesses.
“We hope this will further encourage local people to report any suspicious activity they note in or around local churches.”
No one from Abbots Cross Church could be reached for a comment.
Meanwhile, t provide information about crime to the police, or sign up to Church Watch, call 0845 600 8000.