South East Wales

Tref-y-Rhyg Primary School, Tonyrefail, flooded after roof leading theft

Thieves have caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage at a school in Rhondda Cynon Taf after stealing about 40ft (12m) of roof lead flashing.

It led to two classrooms at Tref-y-Rhyg, on The Avenue, Tonyrefail, being flooded by heavy rain at the weekend.

Books, food supplies, wall displays and wall partitions have been destroyed.

In a separate case, Darrenlas Primary School in Mountain Ash was also flooded when lead was stolen. South Wales Police are investigating both.

At Tref-y-Rhyg, CCTV cameras were covered by the thieves to prevent them being identified.

The school's alarm system was set off in the early hours of Monday morning.

"It was like Niagara Falls," said head teacher Clair Jones.

"We were ankle-deep in water in two classrooms on the top floor."

"They'd taken the lead flashing and it had rained heavily on Sunday night, so all the rain came in."

Roof tiles fell in, others still attached to the ceiling were buckling under the weight of water, wall displays were destroyed and electrics have been damaged.

Cameras covered up

More than 400 children's books have also been ruined.

Police have trawled through the school's CCTV footage and have found the cameras were covered up last Wednesday at 19:15 BST.

The school had broken up for Easter that day.

"It's possible they took the lead flashing that evening or even on Thursday," Ms Jones said.

"The police think they must've had a van because the flashing was the length of two terraced houses."

South Wales Police said the two incidents were not being connected.

Det Insp Andy Jones, from Ton Pentre police station, said: "Both of these thefts took place at some point over the long Easter weekend.

"We are appealing for any information about these incidents and want to hear from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the vicinity of either of these schools during the weekend."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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