A WOMAN says is scared to be alone in her own home after thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of lead from her garage.

Debbie Jarvis and husband Mark were stunned to discover £2,000 worth of lead was ripped from the garage roof.

The couple, of Colchester Road, Chappel, who are both 52, are appealing for information to establish what happened.

Debbie said: “We literally saw nothing, it was really strange.

“We don’t know when it happened.

“It’s a little outbuilding that isn’t attached to the house.

“We’ve got a weathervane and lead on the roof.

“A couple of weeks ago my husband said the north face of the weathervane was bent and then a few days later he came in and said someone had taken the lead off the roof.”

Living in a quiet area, the couple do not usually see or hear anything suspicious.

Debbie said: “We’ve got three dogs here and every now and then they bark during the night but usually I just look out the back.

“We don’t ever think to look out at the side of the house.

“It’s made me not want to be here on my own anymore.

“The thought of someone being here close to your house, probably at night, is not comfortable. It makes you feel unsafe.”

Debbie and Mark will now have CCTV and floodlights installed in their garden to catch any repeat offenders, but Debbie said the cost of repairing the damage is more than £2,000.

She also said although the police were informed, they have been unable to do much due to a lack of evidence.

Debbie said: “Police took lots of details from me and said there had not been a lot of things like this in the area before, but they said they’d log it as closed.

“You do feel a bit let down.They accessed my roof from the neighbours’ driveway.

“I asked my neighbour if she saw anything at any time but we don’t know when it happened. She’s not noticed anything.”

Debbie believes lead theft is a much wider issue which could be prevented.

She said: “The scrap shops are equally to blame because if the thieves couldn’t sell the lead then they wouldn’t do it.”

“I’ll definitely take more notice of the dogs when they bark during the night.”

The damage was noticed last Wednesday but Debbie and Mark do not know when the theft took place.

Anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 101.