Police have issued a warning to Melton residents to be vigilant if they own buildings with lead on them after a spate of thefts of the material in the town.
Thieves stole lead from six different properties in the space of just seven days with the probable intention of selling it on for scrap.
Police officers are now stepping up patrols in a bid to prevent further thefts or catch culprits in the act.
Lead was stolen from a vacant property in Nottingham Road, from a garden shed in Asfordby Road and from the roof of a business premises in Scalford Road.
Lead flashing materials were also taken from two bungalows in Mayfield Street and from the bay window of a house in Laxton Close.
Sgt Paul Kear, of Melton Police, said: “We are aware there have been a number of incidents of lead thefts in the Melton area this month.
“It appears these are opportunist thieves who are targeting domestic properties and small businesses, taking small amounts of lead, it seems to sell on for scrap, but causing damage to properties and inconvenience and considerable expense to the people living in the properties.
“Neighbourhood officers are aware of the issues and are carrying out extra patrols in the area.
“Officers on the response teams – responding to 999 calls – are also aware of the increase in reports.
“We would encourage residents to stay vigilant and if they see anyone acting suspiciously around the front of a building with lead within reach please call 999.”
Anyone with information on thefts which have taken place can call police on 101 or, anonymously on 0800 555111.
Lead was stolen in the various incidents sometime between the following times stated - Nottingham Road (between 5pm on Dec 12 and 11am on Dec 15); Asfordby Road (midnight on Dec 15 to 11.30am on Dec 16); Scalford Road (5pm Dec 14 to 8.50am on Dec 17); Laxton Close (12.01am to 11.59 on Dec 16); Mayfield Street (4pm on Dec 17 to 9.45am Dec 18 & 1am to 2am on Dec 18).