Thieves target country churches and rural homes

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CHURCHES have been targeted by thieves. Lightning rods were stolen from St Denys Church, Rotherfield and St Dunstan’s Church, Mayfield. The metal rods, about an inch in diameter, are connected to conductive grids buried in the ground. They were stolen for scrap value. Lead has also been stolen from the roofs of St Bartholomew’s Church, Burwash (June 27-28) and Isfield Parish Church in the same week. Metal theft has been highlighted with the introduction of Operation Tornado, a nationwide initiative aimed at making it easier to trace sellers of stolen metal and disrupt the activities of those dealers who operate illegal businesses.

Police warn householders to look out for a blue, short-wheel-base Shogun seen driving around a farm on Chillies Lane, High Hurstwood. When the driver was approached he offered to sell chainsaws from the back of vehicle. Other crimes include heating oil siphoned in Knowle Lane, Halland and a white Mitsubishi L300 stolen from Horney Common, Nutley. It was seen at about 4.30pm on July 4 being driven down Imberhorne Lane, East Grinstead. Information to police on: 101