POLICE HUNT DEL BOY LEAD ROOF THIEVES

Detectives probing lead thefts from roofs on Lisburn Road, south Belfast

Detectives probing lead thefts from roofs on Lisburn Road, south Belfast

COPS are hunting Del Boy-style thieves stealing lead from shop roofs in leafy south Belfast.

Bars and cafes on the Lisburn Road have been nursing hefty bills after they were targeted in recent weeks.

One premise had to fork out £3,000 in repairs.

Divine Angels coffee shop owner Catherine Lyttle said her premise near Belfast City Hospital was targeted in an “audacious” overnight theft.

“We came into work and found a severe amount of water on the ground.

“The wiring from our telephone lines was also hanging off the side of the building.

“It’s hard to believe that someone comes along in the middle of the night and steals lead from your premises,” she told BBC News.

Nearby Ryan’s Bar and restaurant was also hit by the lead bandit thieves.

“The staff came in one morning the overnight heavy rain had started seeping right through the building,” said duty manager Terry Lawlor.

“We had the damage assessed and found the lead had been stolen. There were slates all over the place.

“The water seeping through the bar put the customers at risk as well.”

In the hit BBC 1 comedy series Only Fools and Horses, lead was stolen from a church roof in the episode The Miracle of Peckham.

Rain poured in and it appeared that a statue of the Virgin Mary was weeping.

Del Boy paid the priest a visit to confess to having the stolen church roof lead.

But instead decided to cash in on the ‘miracle’ to raise money for a local hospice.

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