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Lead theft in York


3:48pm 15th June 2011

York police are urging residents to be vigilant following a spate of lead thefts in the east of the city.

Homes, businesses and local schools have all been targeted in recent months as thieves look to cash-in on the rising price of lead by selling it on to scrap dealers.

Offenders have been stealing lead and lead flashing from buildings, sheds, porches and other outbuildings usually under the cover of darkness.

Officers are advising the public to be wary and take the necessary safety precautions to ensure their buildings are protected.

PC Michael Brocken, of Heworth Safer Neighbourhood Team, said:

“The increasing price of lead has made it a valuable commodity which is making it attractive to thieves.

“They are selling it to scrap dealers and making money depending on the weight and the quality of the metal.

“It is important to ensure that all your buildings are protected from lead thieves, as if any stolen lead goes undetected it can result in water damage which can cost even more to put right that replacing the lead.”

PC Brocken also urged residents to look out for their own and neighbouring properties, as well as making life difficult for offenders.

He said:

“As well as being vigilant and keeping an eye out for any suspicious behaviour, residents should consider some simple crime prevention advice; if possible fit CCTV and coat your lead in a theft deterrent product.

“Also think about replacing lead with an alternative material and trade it in at a scrap merchants yourself before it gets stolen.”

Anyone who has any information about the theft of lead in their area is urged to contact North Yorkshire Police on 0845 60 60 24 7.

Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more crime prevention advice visit the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk.

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