With commodity prices on the upswing, thieves are targeting British churches, historic buildings and even railroads for the copper, lead, bronze and iron found in their gutters, gates, bells, statues and more.
Each month, Britain sees 7,000 to 10,000 metal thefts.
Katri Link, spokesperson for Ecclesiastical Insurance, said the thefts threaten "some churches with bankruptcy" since payouts are capped at around $15,000.
In the first eight months of 2011, Link's company received 1,900 such claims, compared to 10 in 2003.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers