Lead thieves picking off borough’s schools and church buildings

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HEARTLESS lead thieves have been deliberately targeting the borough’s schools and churches as easy prey, it has been revealed.

Shocking figures obtained by the Times this week show that Newtownabbey police recorded a total of 51 burglary, robbery or theft offences where lead was stolen between March 1 and August 31 this year. And two thirds of the premises targeted were schools or churches.

During one recent incident, thieves removed more than £1,000 worth of lead from the roof of St Bernard’s Church in Glengormley, leaving the building open to the elements. The resulting internal damage caused by rain water left the church with a repair bill for thousands of pounds.

The statistics for the six-month period reveal that there were 18 lead thefts from schools, 16 from churches and more than a dozen from private houses, commercial sites or other properties.

Responding to the figures, a PSNI spokesperson urged local homeowners, community groups, churches and schools to take steps to protect their buildings against lead thefts.

Read the full story in this week’s Times...