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Police warning over church thefts in Wiltshire

Salisbury Cathedral is the largest building to be targetted. Photo: Ben Birchall/PA

Police in Wiltshire have called for the public to be vigilant following a spate of lead thefts from church buildings in Wiltshire. Salisbury Cathedral is the biggest to be targetted by thieves who removed metal drainpipes. Christ Church in Warminster has lost half the lead from its roof. £40,000 worth of lead has been stripped from a rectory at Zeals near Mere. And approximately six tonnes of lead was stolen from St James Church in Bratton.

Lead piping has been stolen from Malmesbury Abbey. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA

Lead piping has also been stolen from Malmesbury Abbey. Police say the thefts extend to church buildings large and small across the county.

"I’d like to ask members of the public to help us with our enquiries by reporting any suspicious activity they may see around our churches – this could include anyone seen on church roofs, vehicles parked nearby which aren’t familiar, or any torch lights spotted around churches late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

"We need to know about this activity as it is happening, so please help by being our eyes and ears and letting us know this information when you see it.

"Those involved in committing these crimes are causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and we are determined to identify those involved.”

– Det Sgt Sam Hopkinson, Wiltshire Police