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Thieves steal £40,000 worth of solar panels

PUBLISHED: 16:16 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:16 23 January 2018

The Langham Dome museum, and behind, the former airfield land. Picture: Stuart Anderson

The Langham Dome museum, and behind, the former airfield land. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Archant

Thousands of pounds worth of solar panels have been stolen from land in Langham.

Langham's village sign. Picture: Stuart AndersonLangham's village sign. Picture: Stuart Anderson

Near £40,000 worth of solar panels have been stolen from land in Langham.

Around 157 solar panels, as well as seven power inverters, were stolen from a field near the former Langham Airfield in the early hours of Wednesday, January 17.

The equipment is estimated to cost near £40,000 to repurchase and install.

A spokesman for the Norfolk Constabulary said: “A possible Luton type van was used came in and left the scene vis a farm track on the Morston to Langham road.

A memorial to the former Langham Airfield, just outside the Langham Dome museum. The airfield's grounds are pictured behind. Picture: Stuart AndersonA memorial to the former Langham Airfield, just outside the Langham Dome museum. The airfield's grounds are pictured behind. Picture: Stuart Anderson

“We assume multiple people worked together to do this.”

The solar panels are around six foot by four foot, and weigh between 30 and 40 kgs a piece.

Despite stealing near 160 solar panels, the criminals did leave around 100 solar panels at the scene.

Nearby residents reacted with disappointment to news of the theft.

Longtime Langham resident Henry Labouchere said rural crime, including thefts of lead from church roofs, seemed to be on the rise in the area.

He said: “I’m totally disappointed and not altogether surprised that it’s happened.”

Adam Faherty, supervisor at the village’s Blue Bell pub, said: “I wouldn’t expect it to happen in the village.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m quite surprised. I haven’t heard about anything like this before. It’s a pretty quiet village normally. There’s very little crime.”

Langham Airfield was a Royal Air Force base from 1940 to 1961, and was home to aircraft including the Wellington and B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.

The property was bought by Bernard Matthews, which built turkey sheds on the runways, and later sold it on.

A small museum called Langham Dome is dedicated to preserving the memory of its days as an aviation hub.

Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the area between the dates stated, or anyone with information, should contact PC Jason Pegden at Wells Police Station on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Have you been hit by a rural crime?

Let us know. Contact nnn.news@archant.co.uk

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