‘Help us to catch the scavengers’

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POLICE want the public to help save homeowners and businesses from costly repair bills by reporting “scavenger” metal thieves while they are in the act.

Incidents of people stripping metals such as lead and copper from premises is still rife – with the material fetching big money when sold on for scrap – and Spalding police believe passers-by may have information vital to tracking the culprits down.

Several town centre locations have been targeted recently – including copper cabling from George Adams, the copper from the lightning conductor on top of the old tax office and lead from a roof at the back of Bulley Davey.

The police believe that these crimes are committed by gangs of four or five people, using a van or large vehicle.

The metal they take is often left at a drop off point so that they cannot be caught with any on them if found and they then go to collect this the next day.

Police have discovered piles of 4-5kg of lead that has been left for collection and believe the public may hold the key to tracking the raiders down.

Pc Paul Smith, Spalding town centre beat manager, said: “People must be seeing something – please ring it in. If it turns out to be nothing then there’s no harm done.

“For the price of a phone call it might save someone thousands of pounds. It is becoming more and more of a problem and lead is so expensive to replace.

“The town is nice and we want to keep it that way – we don’t want empty shops because they are having to pay out on replacing this metal.

“Please do ring us when you see something.”

Pc Smith’s plea comes after Sgt Stuart Brotherton urged members of the public to be on the lookout for suspicious vehicles driving slowly around the streets of the district.

It is believed that the criminals visit an area in advance to weigh up which premises they can raid for precious metals.

To report an incident or any suspicious activity to the police call 0300 1110300.