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Reader who helped snare lead thief gets reward from regional daily

A “quick-thinking” reader given a reward by a regional daily for helping secure a lead thief’s conviction has donated the cash to charity.

HTFP reported on Christmas Eve last year how Archant sister dailies the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times were offering a total reward fund of £26,000 in a bid to stop thieves who had targeted more than 40 churches across Norfolk and Suffolk.

The EADT has now made an award from the fund to Stephen Peet, who helped snare a thief after St Mary’s Church, in Cratfield, Suffolk, had six tonnes of lead worth £30,000 taken from it.

Mr Peet spotted a glove and some fabric in a bush near the church after the offence had taken place, and used a sandwich bag to collect the items without contaminating the evidence.

St Mary's Church, in Cratfield, Suffolk

St Mary’s Church, in Cratfield, Suffolk

He presented the evidence to police, leading to the conviction of Birmingham man Sampson Sancu over the offence.

Mr Peet has donated the undisclosed sum to Friends of the Banyan Tree, a Cratfield-based organisation which supports projects in Kerala, southern India.

Mr Peet’s “quick-thinking and community-minded actions” have been praised by EADT editor Terry Hunt, who presented him with his reward.

Said Terry: “He thoroughly deserves to receive part of the reward, which is now going to an excellent cause.

“We hope that other people will follow Steve’s example and that we can look forward to further convictions of these people who bring such misery and anguish to our village communities.”