Alarm thwarts thieves who ripped lead from historic church where Queen Mother was baptised

All Saints' Church in St Paul's Walden, near Hitchin, seen from the south. Picture: David Savell

All Saints' Church in St Paul's Walden, near Hitchin, seen from the south. Picture: David Savell - Credit: Archant

Thieves who targeted a historic village church near Hitchin at the weekend were thwarted by an alarm system that alerted police.

Police and the churchwarden of All Saints’ Church in St Paul’s Walden were alerted after the thieves used a ladder to access the roof and rip out lead using crowbars.

The thieves took lead from the roof of the Lady Chapel on the Grade I-listed church’s south side, doing much damage to the brick and stone work while doing so.

They loaded it into the back of the white Iveco van they had driven onto the grounds, but fled after the alarm was activated at about 2.30am – leaving the van and stolen property behind.

The police and churchwarden both responded very quickly, but the thieves were already gone when they arrived.


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All Saints’ – which is distinguished for its connection to the royal family, the Queen Mother having been baptised there – remained closed throughout Saturday while officers investigated.

A police spokeswoman said that enquires are ongoing and that anyone with information that could assist the investigation should call 101, quoting crime reference G1/17/1900.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or use their anonymous online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

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