Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday 20 April 2011

Small-scale crime

Ocean's Eleven it ain't! Thieves have struck at a model village in Great Yarmouth, stealing lead from the roof of a miniature hospital. Looks like the Borrowers have gone into the scrap metal business.

According to the owner, they caused £1,500 worth of damage:

'We have an awful lot of security. We have several CCTV cameras and a nine foot brick wall topped with a five foot barbed wire fence running around the perimeter.

‘It was very well planned, they must have come in as visitors to know the lead was here and to work out where the CCTV is because they seem to have found a blank spot in it.'

If he's right, the thieves must have paid £6.50 a head to case the joint, to say nothing of the petrol to get there; meanwhile the lead they stole - all of nine feet by two - could be expected to fetch about £30 on the black market.

Perhaps Norfolk criminals like to start out small; this might be the equivalent of the nursery slopes, a training ground for very small criminals, or maybe they are simply as thick as the waste of oxygen who stole my prescription sunglasses recently and who's probably out there now trying to look cool and wondering why he keeps bumping into things.

Of course, no piece on the theft of roofing lead would be complete without this from the kings of parody:


  1. XX ‘It was very well planned, they must have come in as visitors to know the lead was here and to work out where the CCTV is XX

    So. They only have one? Or have they gone to the trouble of carefully plotting the blind spots from every camera, so they can "dodge the rain drops" style, jump from one to the other?

    If I was the owner, I would start questioning the video operator, and installer, with extreem predjudice.

  2. Perhaps they were just rehearsing for a bigger job. Say in the middle of London next week some time. Some buildings there have lots of lead.

  3. Good point, FT; sounds as if you might be just the person to help him...

    Demetrius, I can see the Hollywood version now - the lovable rogues hotly pursued by Special Branch as the procession winds its way past below....


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