Church thefts – men charged

We reported in our April edition of The Leveller on a number of thefts of lead from church roofs around Somerset. The thefts over a period from August 2019 to March this year hit many parish churches hard.

It is not just the loss of the lead, but the damage from leaks while the roof is repaired and the ancillary damage to stonework that often occurs when lead is stolen.

The men charged today are accused of stealing lead from the following Somerset churches:

• Church of St Mary, Chesterblade, between 21-28 August 2019
• Church of St Edward King and Martyr, Goathurst, Bridgwater, between 18-19 December 2019 (pictured)
• Church of the Holy Cross, Middlezoy, Bridgwater, between 11-12 February 2020
• St Mary’s Church, Glastonbury, between 14-15 February 2019
• St Mary’s Church, Barrington, Ilminster, between 18-19 February 2020
• St Peter’s Church, Ilton, Ilminster, between 20-21 February 2020
• St Giles’ Church, Bradford on Tone, Taunton, between 26-27 February 2020
• Church of St Andrew and St Mary, Pitminster, between 27-28 February 2020
• St John the Baptist Church, Wellington, between 28-29 February 2020
• St Peter and St Paul’s Church, South Petherton, between 4-5 March 2020
• Church of St Andrew and St Mary, Pitminster, on 9 March 2020

Paul Buica, aged 25, of George Street, Birmingham; Constantine Motescu, aged 31, of The Stebbing, Sutton Hill, Telford and Laurentiu Sucea, aged 37, also of George Street, Birmingham, will next appear before Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on 11 June.

The men were arrested in a joint operation with Lincolnshire Police. They are charged with conspiracy to steal between August 2018 and March 2020.

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