Thieves in Britain are using Google Earth to target lead roofs on Church of England buildings to sell on the lucrative metals market, a Church spokesman said.
About 8,000 churches have made insurance claims for lead theft worth about 23 million pounds during the past three years, the Church's estate commissioner Tony Baldry said during a debate in Westminster Hall.
In many cases, churches have replaced their roofs only to be targeted again, in one case 14 times.
Many of the Church of England's 16,000 churches are "listed," which provides planning protection for buildings of historical value, and date back hundreds of years. ...