POLICE are appealing for information after lead was stolen from homes in a Braintree cul-de-sac for the second year in a row.

Thieves struck at three properties in Westergreen Meadows on the night of Monday, July 29, ripping the metal linings from above bay windows.

Residents were shocked and angered by the crime, which caused several hundred pounds worth of damage.

It is the second time the street has been struck by lead bandits in as many years.

One resident, whose repairs cost £500, said: “It makes you feel horrible. It makes you feel like you’re not safe in your own house.

“If I’d have caught them, I’d have lumped them.

“I got out of bed at about 3.30am. My wife heard noises.

“After last year they knew what they’d left behind. It must have been the same people.

“There was a suspicious van over the road last year. We got the licence plate and gave it to the police but they didn’t do anything.

Another resident, who has lived in the cul-de-sac for 25 years, said: “I was just annoyed really. I didn’t realise it was gone until our neighbour told us.”

The news comes after a string of lead thefts earlier this year.

In Witham, police received 20 reports of lead thefts in just two months between April and June, prompting them to warn homeowners to stay vigilant.

A spokesman said: “Lead thefts are often not identified until days – sometimes as long as a month – after the thefts have happened.

“Where suspects are not seen and there are no forensic opportunities or CCTV available, this can make it difficult to identify those responsible. We urge residents to be vigilant and report anyone seen to be acting suspiciously.

“Making it harder for people to access your roof can help deter lead thieves.

“Our suggestions include using anti-climb paint, a non-lead alternative, a roof-top alarm and CCTV.

“Where possible, remove bins, ladders and other objects that would-be thieves could use to climb on to porches and roofs, and install security lighting.”

Police are appealing for information.