A CONSERVATION group hoping to secure the future of a famous theatre in Lancashire has been issued with SelectaDNA Grease by police following the theft of lead from the property's roof.
Thieves targeted the Grade II listed Winter Gardens in Morecambe, which was built in 1870, and removed almost 45 square metres of lead flashing from the roof and carried it off in a wheelie bin.
The theft was only detected when rain began pouring into the theatre.
Evelyn Archer, chair of the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust said: “I heard the rainwater running and realised we had got a leak, but then it came in like a river causing damage that will cost more than £15,000 to repair.”
Lancashire Constabulary’s crime prevention officer Jan Brown has now secured funding from the Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) to provide the Friends of the Winter Gardens, who own the building, with property marking kits to protect the premises.
The kits include SelectaDNA Grease, which not only reduces the resale value of stolen metal but increases the risk of thieves being caught, therefore providing both a prevention and detection opportunity.
Signs are being put up at the Winter Gardens to warn criminals that they are being watched and that the product is in use.
Jan Brown, crime prevention officer, said: “The cost of stolen lead was substantial enough for the Friends of the Winter Gardens to have to meet – but the damage caused by the subsequent rain was even greater and has added to the expense of making good any repairs.
“The SelectaDNA Grease kits will help to prevent further crimes being committed and will also give a greater chance of catching those responsible should any more thefts take place.
“The building is of significant heritage value and well known throughout the area so we’d also encourage anyone who sees anything suspicious to contact police immediately.”
For further information and images contact: Angela Singleton, Press Officer for Selectamark.
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