Spate of theft at village parish church

PUBLISHED: 20:26 06 May 2016 | UPDATED: 16:24 07 May 2016

Caister Parish Church.

 Picture: James Bass

Caister Parish Church. Picture: James Bass

A village church is looking to beef up its security arrangements after a spate of thefts ranging from vacuum cleaners to children’s toys.

Holy Trinity Church at Caister is regularly targeted by thieves and during the last few months has seen all sorts of things go missing.

In the latest raid at the end of last week offenders helped themselves to PA equipment including an audio mixer and amplifier which will cost close to £700 to replace.

Rev Tim Thompson, rector at Caister, tagged the theft as “deeply annoying”.

It came to light on Sunday as church wardens and parishioners prepared for the service and were unable to get the system to work.

Struggling at first to understand what the problem was Mr Thompson on closer inspection realised that crucial parts of the specialist kit were missing.

The offenders had even taken a bag from the choir room to carry their ill-gotten gains away.

Mr Thompson said: “You would have to be looking quite carefully for it and prowling around to see what cable leads to where to find it.

“It was not in an obvious place and was tucked away under something.

“It is deeply annoying and it means I am going to have to stretch my voice and the people at the back are not going to be able to hear,” he added.

In recent weeks children’s toys and chairs, vacuum cleaners and even toilet rolls had disappeared.

The microphone and the loop driver for hearing aid users were not taken.

He speculated the equipment had probably been taken some time between Wednesday and Friday.

The decision was made to keep the place of worship open ten years ago following a string of break-ins when often nothing was taken.

However even if the culprits did make off with something the cost of repairing the damage to ancient doors and leaded windows where they had forced entry regularly ran into thousands of pounds.

Now because of the increasing frequency of thefts he was having to look at more security and the possibility of placing a camera in the church.

In May 2014 an antique marble bust of William Crowe was stolen from the church.

It was later recovered and put back where it had sat for 300 years.

Anyone with information is asked to call PC Andrew Hunt at Norfolk Police via 101

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