Lead thieves have hit a new low after they carried out a James Bond-style mission to steal the roof of a building in a model village – worth just £30.
The gang carried out a detailed reconnaissance of Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, to avoid being caught on CCTV.
They then used the cover of darkness to scale a nine foot brick wall before using specialist tools to cut through a razor sharp barbed wire fence.
But despite their well-planned operation the thieves made off with just one piece of lead from the roof of a miniature hospital – worth £30.
Peter Williamson, 48, who is the owner of Merrivale Model Village, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, described the theft as ”shocking”.
He said: ”They stole the lead roofing from the top of our Merrivale Hospital which is one of the main attractions.
”We have an awful lot of security. We have several CCTV cameras and a nine foot brick wall topped with a five foot barbed wire fence running around the perimeter.
”It was very well planned, they must have come in as visitors to know the lead was here and to work out where the CCTV is because they seem to have found a blank spot in it.
”It’s shocking and quite upsetting. They came over the wall and cut through the barbed wire just to steal #£30 of lead. It’s scary the lengths they’ll go to.”
Peter, who bought Merrivale Model Village in 2007, discovered the damage on Tuesday morning when he arrived for work.
The thieves stole just one piece of lead, measuring nine foot long and two foot wide, from the top of the Merrivale Hospital model.
Peter revealed that although the stolen lead is only worth around £30 the gang left damage of around £1,500.
He added: ”The lead must only be worth about £30 on the black market but I think it will cost around £1,500 to repair.
”I don’t think the insurance company will allow us to replace it with lead which is a shame because it can be moulded and has a lot of character.
”We will probably have to get it replaced with fibreglass which is more expensive because we have to order from our model makers.
”We also have to pay to replace the barbed wire they cut.”