THOUSANDS of pounds worth of damage has been caused to a Milngavie church hall after callous thieves stole leading from its roof.
The raiders managed to evade security lighting at Cairns Church before climbing onto the hall roof and making off with a 7ftx2ft section of lead used to water-proof the building.
Following the theft, and recent heavy rain, the hall has suffered significant water damage.
Vincent Brogan, a committee member at Cairns Church, estimates the repairs will cost thousands of pounds.
He said: “These people are the lowest of the low.
“To steal from anyone’s roof is bad enough, but to target a church is something else entirely.
“They might only get a couple of hundred pounds for it as scrap, but it will cost thousands of pounds to repair the damage.”
The stolen lead was security marked, but Mr Brogan said the church may have to look at adding more security measures.
The theft took place sometime during the early hours of Wednesday, November 14.
Cairns Church minister, Reverend Andrew Frater, said: “All in the Cairns community are understandably upset.
“It’s not what churches need during times of financial worry.”
The incident comes just days after Graeme’s Pharmacy on Station Road was also hit, with thieves stripping lead off the roof sometime over the weekend of November 10-11.
Police have issued a warning to residents and traders to report any suspicious activity.
Inspector Gavin Smith said: “It costs a lot to make repairs and more damage can be caused inside, while the thieves get a fraction of the cost for scrap. All this means additional expense and inconvenience for local residents and traders. It’s particularly distressing for those who attend church to have their building damaged in this way.
“Metal thieves often target churches, shops and other buildings at the heart of our community. I ask the public to please be watchful for people acting suspiciously, particularly if they have lorries or trucks nearby, or vehicles that seem to be driving around an area for no obvious reason.”
You can contact Milngavie Police Office on 0141 532 2000.