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Lead stolen from town hall

PUBLISHED: 10:05 04 July 2008 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 July 2010

DARING thieves stole more than two tonnes of lead from Yarmouth Town Hall on a busy Saturday - and from under the noses of security guards.

The lead, worth up to £2000, had been stripped off the roof as part of a £2m restoration of the listed landmark building, and was being stored in the site compound of Lowestoft contractors MS Oakes.

DARING thieves stole more than two tonnes of lead from Yarmouth Town Hall on a busy Saturday - and from under the noses of security guards.

The lead, worth up to £2000, had been stripped off the roof as part of a £2m restoration of the listed landmark building, and was being stored in the site compound of Lowestoft contractors MS Oakes.

It is thought the well-organised gang probably donned builders' hard hats and reflective jackets so as not to arouse the suspicion of passers-by on the busy quayside.

Site manager Jeff Parslow said a security man who came on duty at 8pm on Saturday, June 21 noticed a fence had been lifted and it was later found that the salvage lead, which was to have been taken away and sold, was missing.

He said: “We think the most likely time for the theft was between 2pm and 8pm. It would appear the thieves had timed their action by observing the movements of the security guard who makes a tour round the site of the town hall every hour.”

Police were working on the theory that a number of people were involved, quickly loading the lead into a waiting van.

A number of other items, including electrical equipment and wheelbarrows, were taken in the raid.

Police, who are checking CCTV cameras for evidence, are appealing for witnesses who might have seen suspicious activity between 2pm on Saturday, June 21 and 7am on Monday, June 23 when it was noticed the lead was missing.

Contact PC Ross Jones at Yarmouth Police Station on 0845 4564567 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Meanwhile, as part of the on-going restoration programme, the parts of the Town Hall clock, together weighing about one tonne, were yesterday winched to the ground under the careful supervision of Norwich clock repairer Simon Michlmayr.

Swiss-trained Mr Nichlmayr will be carrying out the eight to 10-week job of cleaning and repairing the clock in his Silver Road workshop.

The work, costing £19,000, will also include the fitting of an automatic winding mechanism for the first time.

He said: “A plate on the clock shows that it had its last major overhaul in 1931.”

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