A CHARITY shop was one of several businesses in one row of buildings targeted by lead thieves.
The Together shop on Newsome Road South, Newsome, lost hundreds of pounds worth of lead guttering in an overnight raid.
The shop, run by three local churches, provides funding for a range of community projects in the area.
Manager Howard Robinson said: “You have to be pretty low to do it to a charity shop.
“We have to pay for the first £200 of repairs before the insurance pays out and when you claim your premiums go up. That means less money for the projects we are involved with.
“It is a bit of a concern. A number of shops have been hit and you wonder how long they can be financially viable for if it keeps on happening. It’s a downward spiral.”
Newsome Fisheries and the Heather Lockwood hair salon on the same row of shops were also hit this week.
The salon also had its sign pinched.
Mrs Lockwood said: “In one incident they took out the whole pane of glass in the back window. The problem is that you never see who has done it.
“I know how difficult things are for the police, but I’d like to see more officers on patrol round here.”
Sea Fare Fisheries and Radiance Beauty Clinic on nearby Towngate have also had lead stolen.
Fish shop owner Len Lambrou said: “Someone saw workmen put some steps up outside and thought they were doing some repairs to the next property. It was the middle of the afternoon.
“Then someone told us lead had been stolen.”
Hadfields bakery on Newsome Road South has not suffered lead thefts, but manager Paula Beckett said they had also been targeted by burglars.
She said: “We had a refit six weeks ago and the night before we re-opened they broke in. I don’t know what they wanted because the shop was empty, but they took the till.”
The shop owners then installed shutters after vandals smashed the front window.
The lead thefts happened overnight on May 7 into May 8.
Sgt Simon Haigh, of The Valleys Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT), said: “We are aware of the problem of lead thefts in the area and have made a number of inquiries in relation to local scrapyards to see if we can locate the lead.
“We have also given crime prevention advice to local shopkeepers.”
Anyone with information should contact the NPT on 01484 436896.
Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.