Residents in Central Eastleigh yesterday evening, disturbed by the sound of a low flying aircraft, were surprised on looking out to find a helicopter with searchlight circling round Chamberlayne Road.
Just before 8.30 pm Police were alerted by a member of public in Chamberlayne Road who’d heard loud noises coming from the nearby Norwood school and Chamberlayne children’s centre site. The witness said he also saw items being thrown from the roof.
Officers from Eastleigh Police quickly arrived at the scene and sealed off the area around the school and children’s centre. Police believed that thieves were in the process of stealing lead from the many pitched roofs of the building children’s centre building.
Officers requested air support and the Surrey Police Helicopter based at RAF Odiham, one of two helicopters available to Hampshire Constabulary, call sign OS99, was overhead a few minutes later.
The aircraft hovered overhead and used imaging and lighting equipment to identify a man hiding on the roof, he was brought safely to the ground and arrested. Several rolls of lead were found both on the roof and around the building on the ground.
A car found nearby was towed away last night. Today police have continued their investigation with officers conducting house to house enquiries in the area and searched a house in Hedge End.
Eastleigh police were quick to post an update on their twitter site last night explaining to residents why the helicopter had been overhead.
Last August lead was stolen from the roof of the nearby South East Tourism building and in October the Masonic Centre on Cranbury Rd was also a target for lead theft.
Tonight a 24 year old man from Hedge End has been charged with theft and is due to appear at Southampton Magistrates Court on 27 January.
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