U.K. Thieves Use Google Earth to Spot Lead Roofing to Steal

Thieves use Google Earth to spot lead roofs to steal
Thieves use Google Earth to spot lead roofs to steal

Wonder why people are risking their lives tearing copper wires out of electrical substations? At $3.75 a pound (New Jersey prices), copper wire can bring a handsome return to those willing to risk life and limb. The same goes with other metals, including lead ($0.40/lb). In England, computer-savvy thieves have begun to use Google Earth to spot lead roofing to steal.

Even sadder than the thefts is the victim of the thefts; old churches. Lead is a traditional roofing material on many of these historical buildings, most belonging to the Church of England. According to Reuters, approximately 8,000 churches have suffered losses of more than $37 million from lead theft. One church reported having its roof stolen 14 times.