Thief Uses Google Earth to Spot and Plunder Lead Tile Roofs
Tom Berge, a builder from Sutton, England, has been using Google Earth as a treasure-seeking tool, of sorts. While other Google hunters before have claimed to find lost ships or even Atlantis, Berge pursued a more tangible type of booty.
Using the popular map application, Berge would canvass nearby areas and identify buildings whose roofs consisted of valuable lead tiles. An unidentified friend of Berge told The Telegraph, "he could tell the lead roofs apart on Google Earth as they were slightly darker than normal." After locating the lead roofs, Berge would climb the building, remove the tiles, rappel down and then sell the material to scrap metal salvagers.
Police arrested Berge in February after he allegedly accumulated approximately $200,000 from his plundering, which included a church, a museum and a girls' school. Berge received an 8-month suspended sentence for his 6-month spree, after which lead investigator Detective Sergeant Chris Grant said, "he was a prolific offender up until the time he was arrested. Since then our crime figures for theft of lead have reduced significantly." [From: The Telegraph]