Town hit by thefts

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SCHOOLS, businesses and a church have all been hit by lead thieves.

A spate of seven thefts have taken place in and around Mildenhall in the past month.

Schools, including College Heath middle, St Mary’s primary and Beck Row primary schools and Mildenhall College of Technology (MCT) all had lead taken from their roofs.

Susan Byles, headteacher at MCT, said she was angered by the thefts – especially as the school is already in a dilapidated state.

“It’s a big inconvenience and it’s not covered by the school’s insurance because it’s a theft,” she said.

Around 400 metres of lead was taken from the school’s roof over the weekend.

“That means money that could be going towards the children’s learning will now have to go on repairing the roof.

“It’s really quite atrocious that anyone can consider stealing from places where children go to learn,” she said.

The Riverside Hotel, in Mill Street, and St Mary’s Church, in Barton Mills, as well as a private residence in Field Walk were also hit by thieves.

Peter Merrick, director of the Riverside Hotel, said: “I am amazed that anyone could get on to the building in plain view of the street.”

Frances Lewis, church warden at St Mary’s, was the first to come across the damage along with colleague David Powell, on Monday afternoon.

“Strips of lead had just been ripped off the roof. We were very angry,” she said.

The thefts are believed to have taken place between February 28 and Tuesday.

A police spokesman said: “Owners of properties vulnerable to metal theft are urged to make buildings and sites as secure as possible to keep criminals out.”

Calls in relation to these events should be made to police on 01284 774100 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.