THIEVES have been stripping the lead from the roofs of shops and community buildings in Huntingdon.

THIEVES have been stripping the lead from the roofs of shops and community buildings in Huntingdon.

Cambridgeshire police has warned shop-owners and landlords to be extra-vigilant following the theft of lead from the Commemoration Hall, the Card Gallery, also on the High Street, the boat club on Hartford Road and Hunts Football Association on St John's Street.

The theft at the Commemoration Hall became apparent only after the heavy rainfall last Monday (May 23) - the theft could have taken place at any time during the dry spell.

Rainwater poured through the gaps left by the theft, flooded the foyer of the building and ruined the ceiling of the disabled toilet.

The Commemoration Hall Charity estimates the damage will cost £3,500 to repair.

Karen Cameron, clerk to the charity, said: "This type of crime causes particular hardship for non-profit making organisations such as the Commemoration Hall Charity, which provides a community facility in the town centre at affordable rates in the interest of local people."

Sector Inspector Ian Ford told The Hunts Post that a lack of information on when the theft actually took place meant the culprits would be difficult to identify.

He added: "I would ask people to be extra-vigilant. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, call us immediately and we'll send someone down.

"Very often [the culprits] could be people posing as legitimate workmen."

Investigations into the thefts are continuing.

INFORMATION: If you have any information or see anyone acting suspiciously call police on 0345 456 4564 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.