THIEVES caught stealing lead from the roof of a Sikh temple in Huddersfield have been punished with curfews.
The two teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, attempted to steal lead sheets from the roof of Fartown Sikh Temple, Hillhouse, at around midnight on February 21, Huddersfield Youth Court heard yesterday.
The pair, aged 15 and 17, fled when police arrived but were caught when they returned at around 4am to try to prise the sheets from the temple roof.
Both admitted attempting to steal the lead when they were arrested, magistrates were told.
Damage caused by that theft and previous thefts was estimated to cost £2,500 to repair, the court heard.
The 15-year-old, who has convictions for affray, taking a motor vehicle without consent, criminal damage and affray, was given a night-time curfew order for six weeks.
He was handed a six-month youth rehabilitation order.
The 17-year-old, who has one conviction for burglary, was given a night-time curfew on weekdays.
Both were ordered to pay £85 costs.
Sentencing the pair, bench chairman Caroline Ellis said: “I hope you have learned your lesson. This was pretty stupid.
“Taking lead will cause an awful lot of problems for people with rain coming through the roof.
“You have been very foolish.”
Thieves stole lead flashing worth thousands of pounds in three raids on the temple in three consecutive weeks in June, 2007.
Insp Nick Harvey, of Kirklees police, was in charge of officers investigating the case.
He said: “This was a good result, with our response officers getting to the scene very quickly and being able to arrest two suspects.
“We treat lead thefts very seriously as they cause expensive damage to property and in this case, have damaged a focal point of the community. This is not something that we will tolerate.”