Do they know true cost of their crimes?

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Inspector Nawaz is perfectly correct in his statement that ‘metal theft is not a victimless crime’ (Diddlers on the roof – 12.10.11) indeed the repercussions run far deeper than the cost of replacement.

I have, in the last seven months, had lead stolen from my roof on four seperate occasions. On three of the four occasions the theft has occurred at the onset of bad weather causing further and significant damage due to water ingress.

The bedroom and living room ceilings have been replastered and repainted twice the bedroom carpet has been deep cleaned and the bedding and mattress has required replacing.

The disruption and disturbance this has caused has extended to over 20 weeks and I have had to take a substantial amount of time from work to facilitate repair.

Further, I have had to pay an insurance excess on each occasion. I am however particularly grateful that my insurance company has been so understanding and, although my premium will undoubtedly increase, I am not yet considered uninsurable.

In order to mitigate the risk I have invested a significant amount of money upgrading the alarm system and installing CCTV in the expectation that this would act as a deterrent.

As can be seen from the photo published on your front page, this has had little or no effect.

The flagrant and insolent audacity (or stupidity) of these people beggars belief.

My partner had been particularly affected inasmuch as she would no longer spend time in the house alone and began spending more time at her own home. This put considerable strain on our relationship and we have now separated.

Despite all this, I still consider myself extremely fortunate in that I have something that others desire to such an extent that they will place themselves at risk to relieve me of it.

I do however feel for Mr. Knowles who has suffered a loss far greater than the intrinsic value of the memorial plaques.

Sadly, this is becoming an increasing part of life’s rich tapestry and I do not believe that the criminals responsible understand or care about the impact of their actions.

Stephen Roberts