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Maxiflow.co.uk»Blog»Posts Tagged "Lead Theft"

New lead theft in Northwich

Northwich lead theft

We have covered several prominent lead thefts on this blog in the past, including locations such as the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port, St. Mary’s Centre in Chester and Neston Civic Hall. For a while, it seemed like we were getting called out to a new lead theft every week, with the thievery growing more audacious with each case, culminating in the theft of the Willaston War Memorial Plaque (covered in publications such as the Telegraph), and its subsequent restoration.

Recently, a new lead theft was reported at a building in Northwich. The half-timbered building’s protective lead flashings were callously ripped out, damaging the surrounding slates and leaving sections of the roof exposed. It has been a good number of months since we last investigated a metal theft, so we hope this isn’t the start of a new trend.

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Restoration of the Willaston Memorial plaque

Willaston Memorial Plaque restoration header

This weekend marks Remembrance Sunday, a day the entire nation pays tribute to our countrymen who have fallen in times of war.

We will be commemorating the memories of our lost friends and family in private by observing two minutes’ silence at 11am.

On the same day, Christ Church in Willaston will be paying public tribute to their local heroes by unveiling a brand-new memorial plaque.

Willaston Memorial Plaque restoration by Maxiflow and Enterprise

Photo courtesy of The Daily Telegraph

Last year, the memorial was targeted by reprehensible thieves who stole the previous plaque for its saleable metals. We were on hand to repair the stonework the day after the theft, in a report which was featured on Granada Reports.

The story even caught the attention of the national press, and has recently been featured twice in the Daily Telegraph, illustrating the effect that such disgusting and thoughtless actions have on the public consciousness.

In partnership with Enterpise PLC, we have been hard at work sourcing a replacement plaque for the memorial, in addition to devising an updated security solution to deter future thefts.

This co-ordination has taken many months’ worth of tireless effort by a team including Warren Beatty, Maxiflow Building Contracts Director and Richard Whaley, Cheshire Building Supervisor for Enterprise Property Solutions (pictured above left).

The new plaque was cast in Australia, with attention being paid to ensure every detail, from the lettering to the paintwork, was an appropriate tribute to the brave soldiers it is honouring.

Willaston Memorial Plaque restoration by Maxiflow and Enterprise

After a long and careful journey, the plaque has been reinstated in its rightful place at Christ Church. The restored memorial will be officially unveiled at a ceremony on the morning of Sunday 11th November.

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Forensic tagging at the Guildhall, Chester

Guildhall Chester Leadwork Theft Prevention

As reported in this week’s Chester Standard, Maxiflow have been helping to secure Chester’s heritage at the Guildhall on Watergate Street.

Last week, the tenants received reports that figures were spotted climbing around the roof of the Grade II listed building, possibly scouting out the areas which are fitted with lead sheeting.

Though nothing was stolen, it prompted Cheshire West & Chester Council, owners of the Guildhall, to look into ways to effectively protect their assets and deter the very real threat of thieves.

Guildhall Chester Leadwork Theft Prevention

Maxiflow have now coated all of the Guildhall’s leadwork with our Asset Marker lacquer and have erected signage which warns of the new security measures.

This is one of the many buildings we have now treated, a list which includes locations such as Northwich Library, electrical substations and telecommunication hubs.

We are now installing this system on a large portfolio of sites for Cheshire West & Chester, keep up to date with Maxiflow to learn more!

Guildhall Chester Leadwork Theft Prevention

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Daylight lead theft from Co-op shop in Mold

Co-op Roof Lead Theft

We’ve covered a lot of lead thefts on this blog, but we don’t think we’ve come across one quite as brazen as this!

A branch of Co-operative Food in Mold town centre has become one of the latest businesses affected by the ongoing spate of metal thefts.

The lead surrounding the roof’s perimeter had been stripped away, leaving the interior walls vulnerable to the elements.

Daylight lead theft from Co-operative Food shop

Co-op staff carried out one of their weekly property inspections on the site and discovered the damage.

What makes this case stand out from the rest, however, is that the crime is believed to have been committed in broad daylight!

Upon investigation, it was discovered that several witnesses may have seen the thieves but not alerted staff because they “believed the men were supposed to be up there”.

This theft stands out as a striking example of how brazen the current crop of metal thieves have become. We don’t believe we’re wrong to warn the public to be extra vigilant, especially when thefts are occurring right above peoples’ heads!

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How to protect your roof from metal thieves – Part 5

Forensic Tagging Warning Sign

As discussed yesterday, we believe that there are real problems with most anti-climb paint products. Their ineffectiveness was becoming a real problem for us, because we are very proud of our leadwork and don’t think that it should cease to be a viable roofing option because of thieves.

For these reasons and more, Maxiflow are proud to be proponents of the new Molecular Taggent Technology developed by RedWeb Security. We are confident that this technology provides solid solutions for the future viability of leadwork installations.

How does it work? Our Asset Marker grease can be applied by our licenced installers directly to your valuable assets. This is not limited to roofing materials; from a manhole cover to electric cables, we can invisibly coat your assets without altering their day-to-day appearance.

But what, you may ask, is the difference between our anti-theft products and others on the market? It’s simple: An indelible link from the criminal to the crime scene.

How is this achieved? Well, that’s the clever part. Asset Marker products are saturated with millions of microscopic ultra-violet beads, each of which have a DNA code that can be detected using forensic equipment.

Every batch of Asset Marker grease is encoded with a unique, individual signature. If you touch a surface coated with the grease, it invisibly transfers to you, your clothes and anything else you come into contact with.

What does this mean for metal thieves? Well, these crimes aren’t elegant procedures. Roofing materials, particularly lead, are very heavy. Transporting the stolen goods requires several people and a vehicle, all of which connect with the tracked asset, no matter how briefly.

All it takes is for one 1 x 50 micron particle to be detected anywhere on the criminal, their clothing or their vehicle and law enforcement teams have an unbreakable chain of evidence straight to the criminal.

We believe that educating the public about this technology and rolling it out across high-profile properties will help effectively dissuade criminals from marked areas.

Could YOU be sure that a single drop of incriminating evidence hasn’t followed you from the crime scene? Could you wash everything you own to the degree that we couldn’t find a tiny micron somewhere? Would anybody take that risk?

Thank you for reading, the previous parts of this article can be found below:

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