A SPATE of lead thefts from church roofs in Wiltshire has prompted a police warning.

Lead worth £40,000 was taken from The Rectory in Zeals between August 14 and 16.

Elsewhere in the county, more than half of the lead was stolen from the roof at Christ Church in Warminster, six tonnes from St James' Church in Bratton and - between August 15 and 16 - two sections of lead piping from Malmesbury Abbey.

Detective Sergeant Sam Hopkinson said: “In recent weeks, we have had a number of incidents where a large amount of lead has been stolen from churches which will be both extremely costly and inconvenient to repair. 

“I’d like to ask members of the public to help us with our enquiries by reporting any suspicious activity they may see around our churches – this could include anyone seen on church roofs, vehicles parked nearby which aren’t familiar, or any torch lights spotted around churches late at night or in the early hours of the morning.

"We need to know about this activity as it is happening, so please help by being our eyes and ears and letting us know this information when you see it. 

“Those involved in committing these crimes are causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and we are determined to identify those involved.”

Anyone with information can contact 101 or for emergencies 999.