Thieves haul away 18-stone church bell in Mitcham
Metal thieves appear to be going to new heights - or lows- after stealing a 300-year-old bell from the roof of a church.
Last week thieves stole the bell from the tower of St Olave’s church in Church Walk, Mitcham.
It is believed the thieves climbed on to a high flat roof, removed the bell from its mountings, and dropped it from the roof on to a grass area before taking it away.
The bell weighs about 18 st (115kg) and is nearly 300-years-old, having been brought to the church in 1930 from the now-closed church of St Olave’s in Tooley Street, London Bridge.
It survived a huge fire in 1843 and two World Wars, and is believed to be made from an alloy of bronze, copper and lead.
Keith Penny, churchwarden, said: “The bell is visible from Rowan Road but it’s not that prominent, so whoever stole it obviously knew the area or had done their homework.
“They would have had to have brought their own ladder and at least two people to take it away, so clearly a lot of organisation was involved.
“It was still functional and we had, in fact, just had an electric ringing mechanism installed. This is a great shame.”
The bell will cost at least £5,000 to replace, but the original is worth “much more” because of its historic value, Mr Penny added.
Anyone with information about the bell should call police or the newsdesk on 020 8722 6333.