Two arrested after two-month crime spree at east Norfolk churches

Holy Trinity Church, Caister-on-Sea.

Holy Trinity Church, Caister-on-Sea. - Credit: Archant

Two men have been arrested after items including medieval artefacts and silver wafer plates were stolen from eight east Norfolk churches in a two-month crime spree.

Artefacts and silverware stolen from St Mary's church in Martham

Artefacts and silverware stolen from St Mary's church in Martham - Credit: Supplied

There were 11 burglaries at the eight churches across Caister, Martham, Burgh Castle, Winterton, South Walsham, Hemsby, Ingham and Coltishall between March 30 and May 24.

The first happened between March 30 and May 1 at Holy Trinity Church in Rectory Close, Caister. PA equipment including an audio mixer and amplifier was taken.

The second was at St Peter and Paul's Church in Butt Lane, Burgh Castle, where the 1000-year-old church was broken into and although nothing was stolen, a window was damaged. There was also an attempted break-in at the church on May 16.

On April 16, two silver plates with lids went missing from the St John the Baptist in Rectory Road, Coltishall, and then between April 24 and April 29 two radio hearing devices were taken from Holy Trinity in Somerton Road, Winterton.

Artefacts and silverware stolen from St Mary's church in Martham

Artefacts and silverware stolen from St Mary's church in Martham - Credit: Supplied


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Two thefts happened at the medieval St Mary's in Black Street, Martham. A handbag was stolen on April 30 during a bank holiday art exhibition, and then between May 1 - 4 a safe was entered and artefacts worth more than £40,000 were taken.

Sound equipment was taken from the bell tower of St Mary's in The Street, South Walsham between May 1 and May 8.

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In Ingham, Holy Trinity Church in Mill Road was targeted between May 7 and May 15 when ancient brass inlays were removed and on May 23 an amplifier was taken from St Mary's in The Street, Hemsby.

The two men arrested - a 34-year-old from the Great Yarmouth area and a 36-year-old from the Gorleston area - were released on bail pending further enquires.

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