Criminals target rural Norfolk churches stealing gravestones, statues, and furniture

The grey, granite headstone was stolen from St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph Church in Hevingham at

The grey, granite headstone was stolen from St Mary the Virgin and St Botolph Church in Hevingham at some point last week. Photo is of a different graveyard. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Police are urging the public to be vigilant as criminals have begun targeting rural churches, taking items including gravestones and statues.

The Norfolk Constabulary have asked North Norfolk and Broadland dog walkers and church goers in particular to be aware of the thefts and attempted thefts.

There has been a number of incidents across the districts since the start of the year.

The first was on February 23, at St Mary's Church in Reedham Road, Moulton St. Mary. The suspects attempted to steal a large cast iron stove.

An emblem from a key hole was also taken from the Church of All Saints, Freethorpe, in Green Lane, sometime between February 23 and February 25.

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Between 10.30am and 6pm on February 23, at St. Andrews Church in Wickhampton, suspect(s) stole a number of items including a bronze statue, two bronze candlesticks, one glass decanter, a silver keyhole cover and a brass decorative plaque.

An 18th century unmarked gravestone was also stolen from the grounds of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Botolph in Cromer Road, Hevingham.

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Although the crime was reported to police on March 19, so far it is unclear when the crime was committed.

Officers are urging residents to report any suspicious activity by calling 101, noting down any vehicle registrations or descriptions of suspects.

Always dial 999 if you believe a crime is in progress.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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