It’s emerged that thieves have stripped lead from the roofs of various buildings on Penarth Esplanade – including Penarth Yacht Club.
PDN eyewitnesses had reported that four police cars were spotted at the bottom of Bridgeman Road at 03:15 on Tuesday morning Oct 11th 2016 – but South Wales Police had said later that day they had no knowledge of any incident on the sea front and had no information as to why any police cars were there.
One of the buildings which had lead stripped from it in the pre-dawn raid on Tuesday morning, is Penarth Yacht Club – which is a Grade II listed building.
Here a gang of three thieves had allegedly climbed onto the roof of the balcony that runs across the entire front of the building and removed almost all the sheets of lead which protect the roof from the elements.
The lead sheets were rolled up and dropped down onto the road below to be loaded into a vehicle.
Some of the heavy sheets of lead caught the balcony stonework as they were thrown to the ground and at least one smashed a large chunk of masonry out of the original Victorian stonework.
The alarm was raised by a member of the club staff who alerted the police. The thieves apparently ran off when they heard the police coming but were later said to have been found hiding at Windsor Court at the pier end of the Esplanade. Three men are understood to have been arrested but police yet to confirm or deny that the theft took place or that they have made any arrests .
Safety tape and road cones sealed off the front of the yacht club building later on Tuesday – preventing anyone using the pavement directly beneath the balcony. The cost of rectifying the damage is likely to be in excess of £20,000.
On Monday October 17th – a week after the robbery – South Wales Police issued the following statement “South Wales Police attended Penarth Yacht Club on the Esplanade at approximately 1.50am on Tuesday, October 11th, following a report that three men were trying to gain entry to the premises. On arrival officers discovered that the suspects, who had fled the scene, had managed force entry via one of the doors to the building, and that a large amount of lead had been removed from the roof and balcony and hidden in a commercial bin the street below. Three men, one aged 18 and two aged 19, were later arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage and have been bailed pending further inquiries.”
It’s not yet confirmed whether other buildings on the Esplanade may also have been stripped of lead in the same raid.