Metal thieves raid historic church again

Lead thieves: St Leonard's Church which has been targeted again.
Lead thieves: St Leonard's Church which has been targeted again.

An historic Padiham church has been targeted again by suspected metal thieves in a night time raid.

Criminals struck Padiham St Leonard’s Church in the early hours of Monday.

A neighbour heard footsteps on the slate roof of the 140-year-old church and raised the alarm around 4-30am.

Police arrested a man in nearby Calder Street on suspicion of going equipped for theft and made a search of the area.

The 33-year-old was later released with no further action but police have launched an investigation.

It is the second time the church has been targeted in as many weeks.

Officials were set to assess the damage which has yet to be repaired from the first incident which saw 45 metres of lead stolen.

Town Coun. Ken Buckley said: “I could hear footsteps and clanking on the slates on the roof. I turned the lights off and phoned the police straight away.

“These people just do not care. I hope they catch them for it.

“I went to the church and told them about it and they will inspect it.”

Lancashire Police confirmed that a man was arrested and later released without charge.

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “A number of patrols attended the scene and neighbourhood teams are making inquiries and investigating.”

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.