Published: 13:56, 15 May 2019
| Updated: 14:13, 15 May 2019
Officers from the Kent Police Rural Task Force, who have been investigating the theft of lead from a church in Maidstone, have made an arrest.
St Mary’s and All Saints Church at Boxley suffered the theft of lead from the roof on two occasions with incidents reported on Thursday, May 2, and again on Saturday, May 11.
While carrying out inquiries on the evening of Tuesday, May 14, the team located a suspicious vehicle in Well Road, Maidstone. This lead to the search of a nearby address and a 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft and possession of a knife. He is currently in custody.
Sergeant Darren Walshaw said: "When metal is taken from the roof of a place of worship, it is not just the fabric of the building that is damaged, but it affects the wider community.
"The theft of lead from a roof can often go unnoticed until the next period of bad weather by which time there can be internal water damage.
"The damage caused can prevent the building being safely used for months at a time. The impact upon the whole community of this crime must not be underestimated.
"The cost to the victims in both replacement and repairs can be substantial. It is a lucrative market for criminals as they can get a good return at scrap metal dealers for their ill-gotten gains. We work with scrapyards to identify people who may be trading in stolen items and will target those who persistently commit these offences."