I live in a Victoria terrace, the type with a bay window to the living room.
This morning I was woken just after 6 o’clock, by what sounded like furniture being moved. I wondered what on earth the people next door were doing. Then I remembered where I’d heard that sound before, a couple of years ago when my neighbours had the lead stolen from the roof of their bay window. I got up pulled back the curtain and sure enough on the other side was a man attempting to remove the lead from my roof. In a cool calm and collected manner, befitting of a Fish Wife, I screeched at the top of my voice “Get the Fu** off my roof”. This woke up Mr Noo and startled the man and his friend waiting below. I tried to open the window (I’m not sure why, maybe to slap him). The man had jumped down and they ran. Mr Noo gave a belated chase (not sure why, maybe to slap them). Much to file under: Inconsequential things you do in the heat of the moment.
I rang the Police, 999 being my immediate response. I’d disturbed a crime and they’d run off, maybe a Police car was local and would spot them: ‘bang to rights’ (too much of The Bill?). It wasn’t an emergency, I was firmly told. I fumbled for another number, adrenalin now coursing through me, shaking, upset and frustrated. On my third attempt I got through to the Police on the appropriate number.
The Police were very helpful and visited today, they took details and suggested anti-vandal paint. The lead is in tact, because I disturbed them, but did need to be re-nailed and hammered back into place. A minor and low-cost inconvenience. The price of lead and metals has soared and consequently so have thefts. The Police man who visited this morning thought it was a 999 incident (who knows?), in the meantime, I’ve got the number of the local police as a contact in my phone.
If you have a lead roof similar to mine and are woken up by the sound of ‘furniture moving’. (My neighbour also thought furniture was being moved). It’s probably thieves. Shout at them and keep the lead on your roof.