Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

Tiles looted from church

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 October 2011

St Peters Church in Monks Eleigh has had quarry tiles ripped from it's porch floor.; Church wardens Pat Braithwaite, Ann Currie and Angela Banks looking at the damage.

St Peters Church in Monks Eleigh has had quarry tiles ripped from it's porch floor.; Church wardens Pat Braithwaite, Ann Currie and Angela Banks looking at the damage.

Archant

PARISHIONERS in a west Suffolk village fear valuable quarry tiles taken from a church porch could have been “stolen to order”.

Patricia Braithwaite, a churchwarden at St Peters Church in Monks Eleigh, said thieves left the porch in a “terrible mess” that would cost hundreds of pounds to fix.

Babergh District Council Crime reduction officer Verity Line said churches were often targeted because they tended to be in secluded, dark areas, away from homes. There had been two cases of stolen quarry tiles and several of lead ripped from church roofs in recent months.

Often the stolen goods turned up at scrap yards or on eBay. Mrs Braithwaite said a parishioner had a “big shock” when she discovered the stone slabs missing early Tuesday morning as the church gates were still padlocked.

She said: “All of the tiles were cemented in, so I don’t know how they got them out without someone hearing.

“It was a very windy night on Monday and we had a fair bit of rain so no one heard any banging and crashing.

“I think it must have been someone stealing to order rather than just vandalism. We have all been left reeling because we have spent an awful amount of money trying to keep the church looking nice and this is just soul-destroying.”

Ms Line said because churches did not have high-tech security systems, this enabled criminals to work undetected. Police encouraged the use of forensic property marking solutions to help trace stolen lead.

They worked with scrap dealers and carried out spot checks on suspicious vehicles carrying scrap in a bid to fight the lead thieves. Many churches were also opting to replace stolen lead with cheaper, “less desirable” materials.

She said: “With the tiles, it could be someone stealing them for themselves or to sell on. Sadly, what an offender might get for the scrap is not a quarter of what it costs to replace.” Police are carrying out house to house inquiries relating to the Monks Eleigh theft and want the community to keep a lookout for anything suspicious.

Six beach huts in an Essex seaside town have been ravaged by fire after a blaze last night.

A Suffolk mother of six who dishonestly claimed £15,000 of benefits she was not entitled to has walked free from court after a judge told her she had escaped an immediate prison sentence by the “skin of her teeth.”

An innovative nursing scheme helping people cope with a wide range of health care problems has been hailed as a trailblazing example for other communities in the county to follow.

Lord and Lady Somerleyton have offered a cash reward for the safe return of a lost family heirloom.

A woman left trapped in a vehicle after a crash near Ipswich was freed by firefighters today.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in April, it has been revealed.

The Newmarket home of the eccentric race horse owner Dorothy Wyndham Paget has been given Grade II listing by Historic England, 70 years after the listing scheme came into place.

Most read

Eating Out in the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Eating Out
supplement

View

Visit the Broads

cover

Click here to view
the Visit the Broads
supplement

View

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24