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Five men jailed for lead thefts from 14 churches across Lincolnshire

By AlexColman  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

  • From left to right: Vidas Andruska, Andrius Cereska, Tadas Andruska, Audrius Kvedaras, Nerijus Razma.

  • Andrius-Cereska

  • Tadas-Andruska

  • Vidas-Andruska

  • Audrius-Kvedaras

  • Nerijus-Razma

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Five men have been jailed and another sentenced for their part in lead theft from 14 churches across Lincolnshire, causing up to £1 million of damage.

A total of 20 churches were targeted by the Latvian crime gang who also operated in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

It is estimated that they stole 70 tonnes of lead, which they sold for £70,000, but the damage they caused to the churches was more than ten times that amount.

Andrius Cereska, Tadas Andruska, Audrius Kvedaras, Vidas Andruska, Nerijus Razma and Vitalijus Vilkys took part in a complex operation, targeting churches and ripping lead from their roofs during night time raids.

The men, all from Lincoln, then sold the lead on at scrap yards.

Vidas Andruska was sent to prison for seven years, found guilty by a jury of conspiracy to steal.

Andrius Cereska, Tadas Andruska and Audrius Kvedaras were all sentence to four years, pleading guilty to conspiracy to steal.

Nerijus Razma was given 22 months, found not guilty of conspiracy to steal but pleading guilty to theft.

Vitalijus Vilkys was given a six months suspended sentence for two years with 180 hours of unpaid work, after pleading guilty to handling stolen goods

DI Keith Blakey said: “This is a fantastic result for the people of Lincolnshire and it demonstrates the effectiveness of Lincolnshire Police’s Operation Brompton, which was launched to tackle metal theft in the county.

“These thieves targeted some of the most important heritage sites in the heart of our rural communities, causing huge amounts of damage to religious buildings and leading to a great deal of upset among congregations.

“We hope today’s outcome sends a clear message to criminals across the East Midlands and the rest of the country. If you attempt to operate in Lincolnshire, you will be arrested and put before the courts.”

CHURCHES TARGETED

St Nicholas, Fulbeck, Lincolnshire

All Saints, Holton-cum-Beckering, Lincolnshire

St Peter and St Lawrence, Wickenby, Lincolnshire

St Botolph’s, Newton, Lincolnshire

St Mary’s and All Saints, Swarby, Lincolnshire

St Nicholas, Walcot, Lincolnshire (two incidents)

St Mary’s, Sutterton, Lincolnshire

St Peter and St Paul, Algakirk, Lincolnshire

St James, Ab Kettleby, Leicestershire

All Saints, Asfordby, Leicestershire

St Nicholas, Lutton, Lincolnshire

St Peter and St Paul, Gosberton, Lincolnshire

St Margaret’s, Quadring, Lincolnshire

St Mary and All Saints, Kirkby Underwood, Lincolnshire

St Laurence, Norwell, Nottinghamshire

St Andrew’s, Asgarby, Nottinghamshire

St Leodegar’s, Wyberton, Lincolnshire

St Peter’s, Thorpe St Peter, Lincolnshire

St James, Little Dalby, Leicestershire

All Saints, Hougham, Lincolnshire

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  • eatmygoal  |  December 14 2012, 2:33PM

    TogsAreBest, I think you are confusing not understanding a complex problem with one that is simple and understood. If we "send em back" then it is not long before Thailand, US etc, send ours back. Also what is an offence here might not be there, and can you guarantee that once they are back there they will continue their sentence and not just be let go. For example had Abdelbaset al-Megrahi been sent back to Libya much earlier to serve his sentence, do you think he would have been kept in prison or paraded through the streets as a hero? Would we be expected to execute UK criminals sent back from Thailand or the US? Lots of things to think about. I don't like foreign criminals any more than the next man, in part because they give decent immigrants a bad name and ammunition to IT_MAN, but sending them back has some serious issues.

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  • TogsAreBest  |  December 14 2012, 1:57PM

    Send all that break the UK Law , Back to there native Lands , why Keep them in our Prisons. Found Guilty Back thay Go. (SIMPLE)

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  • hurculese  |  December 14 2012, 8:23AM

    send them home after there sentence and any body else

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  • IT_MAN  |  December 13 2012, 11:00PM

    Who keeps saying EU immigration is good for our economy? They are destrying our country, get them deported back to their own countries. Sooner we are out of the EU the better as we can send them all back home.

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  • Whiley45  |  December 13 2012, 7:24PM

    I should have added. Well done for the excellent work by out Police for bringing them to justice

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  • Whiley45  |  December 13 2012, 7:22PM

    Sentences far too lenient. They come from their own countries to desecrate our beautiful churches which are being cared for by members of the local community and then we have to pay for them to be kept in Prison. Ten years would have been fine but then return them to serve the sentence where they came from. We have enough criminals without having to spend our hard earned taxes on this lot.

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