Video: £10,500 damage caused as thieves target lead on Shropshire church roof
This is the damage inflicted to the roof of a Grade I-listed Shropshire church by lead thieves.
About £10,500 of damage was caused when St Bartholomew's Church in Tong was targeted by lead hunters for the sixth time in five years. But the thieves have been captured in the act on CCTV footage, offering hope that those responsible can be traced.
The Rev Pippa Thorneycroft, of the church, said: "This is the first time this has happened at the church while I have been here and I have been here about a year-and-a-half.
"It's just really upsetting for everyone at the church to hear about this.
"It was our church warden who found the damage and he was really upset when he went to open the church on Monday morning.
"We do think they took as much as they could, but couldn't fit everything in the van as some of it was still by the door.
"I believe there have been a few similar thefts on the A41 near our church, but it seemed to be quiet for a while. I would just ask anyone who knows any information about the theft to contact the police.
"We have great CCTV and we have images of the thieves, so we hope to catch them soon. However four of the CCTV cameras had their wires cut, so these people knew exactly what they were doing.
"Previously we have asked English Heritage to allow us use a different type of material on the roof, as this has happened before.
"But they said because it is a Grade I-listed building it has to be lead. Perhaps they will change their minds now."
The theft happened overnight on Sunday.
Anyone with information can call police on 101.
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