Metal thieves target homes

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FRIDAY the 13th proved unlucky for homeowners in Stowmarket and Fakenham Magna who are thought to have been targeted by metal thieves.

Villagers in Fakenham Magna were still without phone lines yesterday after believing thieves cut their phone line on Friday.

On Saturday, Ray Johnston gave chase to men outside his house after he and wife Bonnie became concerned about what they were up to, reporting noise and a disturbed manhole cover.

Mrs Johnston said the culprits were attempting to use the power in a car engine to winch an access cover.

“They cut the cable and waited to see if police or BT responded, then they returned to pull the length through,” she said.

“My husband chased them off, he didn’t hesitate, just went after them – it was scary.”

“I’m outraged because we have no communication, except an intermittent mobile signal – I feel very vulnerable.”

Police confirmed a unit had been sent to Fakenham Magna but found no cable missing.

Mr and Mrs Johnston want other villages to be on alert.

Thieves also struck in Stowmarket, removing eight strips of lead from a house in Crowe Street.

They dragged the lead across the grounds of the Museum of East Anglian Life towards Lockington Road.

Police say the theft happened between 6pm on Friday and 6am on Saturday.

This follows a previous lead theft in Stowmarket, only two weeks ago, where a 2m section of lead was stolen from a bay window in Eider Close and lead was stolen from a chimney at a property in Sandpiper Road.

Lead theft is an ongoing problem in East Anglia and in December, Norfolk and Suffolk Police took part in a day of action checking dozens of vehicles to target metal theft.

Nationally, the Government is attempting to make metal theft more difficult by aiming to bring in cashless metal transactions.