Police warn communities to look out for further lead thefts after Combs church targeted

St Mary's Church in Combs, which had parts of its lead roof stolen

St Mary's Church in Combs, which had parts of its lead roof stolen - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The theft of lead from a church near Stowmarket has prompted police to ask communities to be aware of similar crimes.

It is thought the roof tiles were taken sometime between 12.30pm on Sunday and 7am on Monday from St Mary’s Church in Combs.

Pc Mark Bryant, rural crime officer, said: “Members of the public should always dial 999 to report a crime in progress.

“Rural churches are often targeted due to their isolated locations.

“Stealing a large amount of lead takes time and a reasonably large vehicle to transport it, so any early reports of suspicious activity will assist police in locating offenders.

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“We are asking local people to take an interest in their local church whilst they are out and about.

“If you take the dog out for a walk, or go for a stroll, don’t ignore anything that you think looks out of place – report anything you think may be out of the ordinary to the police.

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“Communities can act as our eyes and ears, and by pulling together to note suspicious activity, we can deter thieves and help keep these historic buildings safe.”

All intelligence linked to metal thefts is shared with neighbouring counties at both a regional and national level.

Police also work with churches to help prevent the theft of lead from roofs. All churches are encouraged to consider the installation of lighting, CCTV and/or roof alarms.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the area at the times stated.

Anyone with any information about the Combs incident should contact Mid Suffolk South SNT on 101 quoting crime number ST/15/2832 or alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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