Lead thefts at Harpenden church

Harpenden Methodist Church

Harpenden Methodist Church - Credit: Archant

A spate of lead thefts has left a Harpenden church fearing the next rainfall after culprits stripped it of flashing reportedly worth just £25.

Police are now appealing for information on the heritage crime at the United Reformed Church (URC) in Vaughan Road and another lead theft at Harpenden Methodist Church in the High Street.

Thieves targeted the URC between midday on Thursday, June 26, and 8am the following day. Another lead theft then occurred again between 5pm on Sunday, June 29, and 8am the following day.

Flashing was then stolen between July 10 and July 17 from the Methodist church.

Tony Morris, a member of the URC for around 50 years, spotted that some of the roof lead was missing and reported it.

He said: “It was obvious. I was just going down to put some notices up and I always look up at the roof, it’s just one of those instinctive things.

“All down one side was taken I think on the Friday and then again on the following day and then again on the Sunday.

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“That’s not happened since it was built in 1880 or 1890. I’m told the value of the lead was only about £25.”

Tony added it was a worry not knowing whether it’s going to pour with rain but the church had been fairly fortunate so far: “We should be okay. It’s going to be fixed by the end of this week. I guess it’s a fact of life these days, something that happens.

“The police said there hasn’t been a lead theft like this for the past two or three years.”

Police are also investigating four commercial roof lead thefts which occurred between June 11 and July 18 from Sainsbury’s in Bower’s Way, Harpenden Interiors and Legends Hair and Beauty in the High Street, and Auriga Communications in Thompson Close.

Investigating officer Pc Tom Fisher, said the police were stepping up patrols in the area to tackle the incidents: “I am also appealing to anyone who was in the area of where these crimes took place and witnessed anyone acting suspiciously to please get in touch as soon as possible.”

If you can help with any information on the thefts call the non-emergency number of 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.