Lead Thefts – Trimdon Village

24th October, 2010
Over recent weeks there has been an increase in lead thefts in Trimdon Village. Locations targeted include Carrside Road, Hallgarth Road, Hart View and Windsor Square. Dwelling houses and bungalows have been mainly targeted, with lead flashing being removed from bay windows and porches. However, there has also been an attempt to steal lead from St Mary Magdelenes Church in Front Street, Trimdon Village.

Police have since supplied the Church Warden of St Mary Magdelenes Church, John Burton, with SelectaDNA grease and Gel which will be used to mark lead on the church building.

SELECTADNA Grease is used to uniquely identify materials which are at risk of theft. Once a thief handles those goods, the grease transfers onto their hands and clothing and stays there for weeks, irrespective of washing. The criminal is then irrefutably linked to the crime scene. The grease is almost impossible to remove, and contains both a UV tracer which fluoresces blue under UV examination, and a unique DNA Code

It has been in use since 2005, and generally achieves reductions in burglaries and theft of up to 85%. UK Police Forces use it as a formidable theft deterrent. Property marked and protected with DNA becomes too hot to handle and suddenly the second hand value of anything marked with it drops enormously.

Sgt. Brian O’Connor explains how the grease can ultimately catch thieves in the act. He said:
“The grease indelibly marks any criminals who touch it. When a thief comes into contact with the grease, it transfers onto their hands and clothing. Once you have the UV grease on your hands you have handled stolen items .The grease is almost impossible to remove and contains both a UV tracer and a unique DNA code.”

The DNA grease has been supplied to the Church and to other properties in the locality. The message we want to send out to any prospective thief in the area is that measures are now in place in that area and that they will be caught. Furthermore, Sedgefield Borough Homes have confirmed that if any of their properties are targeted the lead will be replaced with a lead substitute which consists of a non metallic compound that renders it worthless to the metal thief.

Police would urge members of the public to report any suspicious activity in the area and contact them with any information regarding recent crime in the area.

Sergeant 919 Brian O’Connor
Sedgefield Neighbourhood Policing Team