Metal thieves knew what they were doing

POLICE are today hunting for careful thieves who turned off the gas mains before stealing a central heating pipe.Some time between 4am and 4.30am on Thursday, September 6, thieves switched off the gas and then stole about 10 metres of thin copper pipe, valued at £400, from outside a house in Oxford Road, Ipswich.

POLICE are today hunting for careful thieves who turned off the gas mains before stealing a central heating pipe.

Some time between 4am and 4.30am on Thursday, September 6, thieves switched off the gas and then stole about 10 metres of thin copper pipe, valued at £400, from outside a house in Oxford Road, Ipswich.

It is believed the pipes were taken from the garden of an empty house, which is currently being refurbished.

An Ipswich Police spokeswoman said: “They took the pipe after climbing over the fence. They obviously knew what they were doing because they turned off the gas.

“We have had quite a lot of thefts of this kind across the county. It is something we are aware of.

“These thieves often go on to sell it as scrap.”

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A recent spate of thefts of lead in recent months, dating back to early spring, means churches in Suffolk may have to pay out around £5000 to fit hi-tech infra-red alarm systems on their roofs, according to estimates by the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich's Diocesan advisory committee.

The dramatic rise in thefts from the roofs of ancient churches and old buildings in Suffolk, is thought to be fuelled by a huge demand for the metal in the Far East, where it is used for car batteries.

A drug addict from Colchester, Simon Moss, was sentenced to 16 weeks in jail this week after admitting to stealing lead from a church roof to fund his habit.

at around 2.30pm, but was recovered.

The church is one of the most historic churches in Ipswich but has not been used for worship since 1970s.

Negotiations are taking place about turning it into a centre for the growing Orthodox community.

Danny Wilkinson, 24, of Rushmere Road, and Billy Edge, 29, of no fixed abode, will appear at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, September 19, on charges of theft.>

If you have any more information about the theft in Oxford Road, call Pc Matthew Williamson at the Central Ipswich Safer Neighbourhood Team on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Have you had any copper or lead stolen from outside your house? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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