A LEAD thief was given a community order and told to pay compensation after stealing £500 worth of metal from roofs in Knowle and Dorridge.
Michael Craig, 21, from Northfield, appeared before Solihull Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
He admitted three charges of lead theft and asked for a further offence to be taken into consideration.
Craig had stolen the lead from shop roofs in Knowle High Street and Dorridge Village Hall on April 13-14.
But he was stopped by police officers who were carrying out a stop-check in Earlswood and found the lead in his car.
He also pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle, which belonged to his girlfriend, without consent.
Magistrates gave him a 160 hour community order and ordered him to pay £400 compensation.
DC Tim Kennedy, from the offenders’ management team, said that churches and village halls were likely targets for lead thieves.
He stressed that it was not a victimless crime, because it is this type of property which struggles to afford the repairs.
“The damage done to properties is usually far, far greater than the value of the metal taken in the first place,” he said.
“Victims are often unaware they have fallen foul of thieves in this way until there’s a major downpour and a room floods. Repairs can run into thousands.”
Solihull police have said that they are working closely with the borough’s scrap-metal merchants to make it more difficult for thieves.
Lead thefts should be reported to Solihull police on 0845 113 5000.