Thousands of pounds worth of copper stolen from roof of historic church on outskirts of Baldock

PUBLISHED: 17:42 14 June 2016

Thieves have targeted Clothall's historic Church of St Mary the Virgin. Photo: Peter O'Connor

Thieves have targeted Clothall's historic Church of St Mary the Virgin. Photo: Peter O'Connor

Archant

Thousands of pounds worth of copper has been stolen from the roof of the historic parish church of Clothall, on the outskirts of Baldock.

The theft at the grade-II* listed Church of St Mary the Virgin, which dates back to the 12th century, was not discovered for a couple of days – with the result that rainwater got in and damaged some of the church fixtures.

Police believe the incident, which they are treating as a heritage crime, took place between Thursday, June 2, and Wednesday, June 8.

Thieves stole half of the copper on the whole roof, removing tiles to get to it, and would thus have been up there some time – they would also have needed a vehicle to transport the stolen metal.

PC Shaun Deal, who is investigating, said: “I am appealing to anyone who has been in the local area over the past couple of weeks and has seen any suspicious activity around the church to get in touch.

“Not only has the theft caused the church considerable damage on the roof, it has also damaged the building internally as well.

“Church buildings such as this are an important part of our heritage and mindless theft such as this only serves to ruin an important part of our history for generations to come.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Deal via the non-emergency number 101, quoting crime reference number G3/16/314.

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

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