St. Peter and St Paul's Church, Gosberton, near Boston, Lincolnshire, was attacked on consecutive nights, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th May 2019. The criminals were disturbed at about 3pm on the morning of Saturday 18th May.  The offenders were seen to leave the scene using a black 3 series BMW, and another vehicle.  CCTV evidence is available.

On both nights, sheet lead was stolen from the south side of the church, and in all about 12 tons of lead was stolen.  Pictured above (credit:Spalding Today) shows the extent of the damage on the roof of the church, and the size of the remaining sheets. It is believed that the lead was rolled up and thrown onto a grass surface below, and may have grass and mud still attached to the rolls. 

What the criminals may not know is that this lead is readily identifiable with Trace-in-Metal forensic microdot markers that will survive extreme heat. The markers cannot be destroyed and will link the lead to the crime scene. 

These forensic markers have been covertly infused into the lead sheet, and additionally thousands more have been painted onto the surface of the lead with a UV reactive lacquer.  The stolen lead also carries the postcode of the church PE11 4EW. 

The photograph below show this lacquer on an installation of a similar age to the Gosberton installation, and therefore the markings on the stolen lead will be easy to detect using a simple UV torch. 

The codes on the microdots can be easily read with a simple optical microscope and this will provide irrefutable evidence that will source the lead back to Gosberton. The covert markings are designed not to be found, and can be detected by Trace-in-Metal staff. It is stressed that the microdots will not be destroyed by melting the lead down. They are designed to withstand extreme heat and remain intact and can be read. 

We would invite scrap metal dealers to double check any offers to buy sheet lead for the Trace-in-Metal markers. Lincolnshire police are investigating these thefts, log no 160/17th May 19, and are following a number of lines of enquiry. If offered this lead could we suggest that you make contact with your local police force using 101, Crimestoppers on 088 555 111 or contact the Trace-in-Metal office on 0330 2233014. 

We are also inviting licensed Scrap Metal Dealers to sign up to our unique Trace-in-Metal Detector scheme, which allows members to receive real time alerts regarding any incidents involving Trace-in-Metal marked metal as well as access to deterrent signage and the simple detection equipment needed to recover and identify Trace-in-Metal marked assets. 

Please contact our Liaison Officer John Barr by email