Thieves target church for the fourth time

07-11-2014'St Paul's Church of Scotland, Milngavie,'Lead stolen from roof for the 4th time,'Graham Getty, Fabric Convenor mops up some of the rain damage with towels. Picture Paul McSherry.
07-11-2014'St Paul's Church of Scotland, Milngavie,'Lead stolen from roof for the 4th time,'Graham Getty, Fabric Convenor mops up some of the rain damage with towels. Picture Paul McSherry.

Heartless thieves targeted a church Milngavie for the FOURTH time when they stole lead from the roof last week.

It will cost at least £4,000 to repair the damage to the roof of St Paul’s Church on Strathblane Road after the theft on Bonfire Night (November 5).

The first theft happened in February last year and at that time the culprits returned just a few days later.

Lead worth about £2,500 had also been stolen from the church roof at the rear of the building 18 months prior to that.

Following the thefts the minister of the church, Reverend Fergus Buchanan, agreed that slippery anti-vandal paint should be applied to the roof .

Meanwhile, the lead was ‘smartwater’ treated with invisible marks to make it easier for the police to trace where it came from in the event of a theft.

However, following the latest theft water is now leaking into the church and the roof repair will take months to complete.

Graham Getty, the fabric convener at the church, said: “It’s going to cost a lot of money and the question is how many times can we claim insurance for this?

“Also, our premiums are going to get higher.

“This is particularly galling as we had taken steps to prevent it and they will only be able to get a few hundred pounds for it, but it will cost us thousands to fix it.

“We’d really like to stop this from happening again as there are many more worthwhile ways we could be spending this money. It’s such a beautiful building, but it’s being slowly destroyed by these criminals.”

Community liaison officer at Kirkintilloch Police Office, Constable Alex Moore, said: “Police Scotland is continuing enquiries into local thefts of lead from roofs within the East Dunbartonshire area.

“Officers have been assigned to enquire into this theft at St Paul’s Parish Church between 9pm on November 5 and 9am the following day.

“A quantity of lead stolen has been marked with smartwater to enable its detection after removal. Any member of the public who has information regarding this incident or who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously during these times is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”