Two men have been arrested after a series of high-value church roof lead thefts across the county, including two in the Harborough district.
The arrests were made on Saturday following police investigations into thefts at four churches in Leicestershire in the last month, where lead worth tens of thousands of pounds was stolen.
The men have been arrested in connection with thefts at churches in Cotesbach, near Lutterworth; Husbands Bosworth, near Market Harborough; Wanlip, north of Leicester; and Wigston, south of Leicester.
Most recently, about three tons of lead was taken from the roof of St Mary’s Church in Costebach, in the early hours of last Monday, November 17.
Thieves drove a vehicle onto land at the rear of the church, causing damage to gravestones. There was also damage caused inside the church, when rain poured through the roof. It has now been protected with sheeting.
Lead worth £10,000 was stolen from the roof of the 700-year-old Grade II-listed All Saints’ Church in Husband’s Bosworth, on Saturday, November 8.
The men, aged 33 and 38, were arrested in the West Midlands area on Saturday.
Sgt 1220 Ed Des-Chanelle, from Leicestershire CID, said: “Extensive enquiries following information received from the community has resulted in the arrests made on Saturday.
“The incidents have caused a great deal of concern within the community and we hope these arrests will reassure people that we are taking these incidents extremely seriously. Our enquiries are continuing.”
Story by Alex Dawson