CALLOUS metal thieves have caused hundreds of pounds worth of damage to two Market Weighton churches.
St Mary’s Priory Church, in Sancton Road, has had eight square meters of copper torn from its roof after it was targeted twice in a matter of days.
Thieves first struck between 10am on Sunday, 7 August and 9.15am on Thursday, 11 August. More copper was stolen between 4.30am and 5.12am on Saturday, 13 August. The damage is expected to cost around £1,200 to repair.
All Saints’ Church, in Londesborough Road, has suffered several hundred pounds worth of damage after ten square metres of lead was stolen from its porch between 8pm on Thursday, 11 August and 9am the next morning,
Between midnight and 8am on Monday, 15 August, there was also an attempt to remove lead from All Saints’ Church in Goodmanham.
Father Paul Bowling, of St Mary’s Priory Church, was shocked by the raids.
He said: “I was shocked and disappointed because I only actually moved to Market Weighton three weeks ago.
“I came from central Hull. I thought I was coming from an inner city area to a nice country town. I thought I was leaving crime behind but, unfortunately, it has followed me here.
“I’m worried this could happen again. Two thefts in three nights. So yes, I’m worried this will continue to happen both in the near future and long term future.
“If it keeps happening, the insurance may stop paying out. I feel it is necessary to increase security at the building.”
Three males in a white van were seen acting suspiciously in the vicinity of St Mary’s Priory Church at about 5.20am on Saturday, 13 August.
Police are looking at whether the offences are linked to a similar incident in Hornsea. Three males from the Hull area have been arrested in connection with this incident.
Residents who live in the vicinity of church premises are asked to be vigilant by police.
Sergeant Pete Rogers, of the Pocklington and Wolds Weighton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Whoever removed the lead would have had a vehicle and ladders and it is quite possible someone may have seen the thieves committing the offence.
“These are particularly disgusting offences in which the offenders have had no consideration for the buildings attacked and the damage caused.
“We’re asking anyone who lives near churches in our area to report suspicious people, vehicles or noises at night. By doing so, you may prevent or detect a crime.”
Anyone who might have information about these incidents should contact Humberside Police on 0845 60 60 222.