Medical centre is targeted by raiders for a third time

A piece of copper roofing has been stolen from a listed Hornchurch medical centre for the third time, causing upset and anger among staff and users.

Thieves climbed onto the roof of the Rosewood Medical Centre, in Astra Close, Elm Park, on Sunday evening and smashed the roof’s centre-piece metal dome, known as a cupola.

The four-foot metal strip, which covered the dome of the belfry, was lined with copper and smashed to the ground after thieves dislodged it from the roof.

This was the third time vandals have stolen metal from the centre’s roof.

In 2010 and then in 2011 lead was taken, which cost the centre more than �5,000 to replace.

A member of staff at the centre noticed the debris lying on the floor on Monday morning and alerted police.

Practice Manager Jackie Thorogood, 66, who arrived early to see the damage in the car park, said: “They must’ve got up on the roof and in trying to remove the copper from the cupola, they dislodged the base, which is made from solid oak, causing it to come crashing down to the ground.

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“I don’t know how they didn’t kill themselves.

“It is a shame, everyone loves this building. It was once a lookout during the war, so it has a lot of history, making it very important to the area.”

George Price, a committee member of the patient group at the centre, said: “It is soul destroying.

“And to think that these people only want to make a little bit of money from selling the metal.”

Some of the roof tiles had also been damaged, adding to the repair costs.

Jackie added: “It is a sad day. It will cost us a lot of money, but it’s lucky we are insured.”

A Havering Police spokesman said: “We would urge all residents to remain vigilant and to report anything they think is suspicious.”

If anyone has any knowledge of this incident or any similar incidents, they should call the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.