Elgin landmark is targeted by ‘ridiculous’ metal thieves

Metal thieves are being described as “ridiculous” after stealing a 10-foot piece of copper from the lightning conductor of a landmark Moray monument.

Theft of metal is becoming an increasing problem for local authorities and businesses throughout Scotland as the higher value of scrap metal has saw thieves risking their own lives and that of the general public by stealing metal conductors from buildings or communication cables from alongside rail tracks.

In the latest incident last week the piece of conductor rod was taken from the Duke of Gordon monument on Lady Hill.

The 10-foot stretch of metal, which was covered in green mould and valued at “around £3”, was taken from a lower area of the monument.  Moray Council called on the services of local engineering firm McDonald and Munro to repair the damage.

Managing director Graham Morrison said: “I suppose they would have taken more if they could have reached higher – however, because the lightning conductor no longer reached the ground, the whole thing would obviously no longer be of any use in a storm.

“What is so ridiculous about this is that the conductor is decades old and a deep shade of green because it is covered with verdigris.  The stolen piece would probably be worth about £3 at best – if it’s even possible to find a scrap dealer willing to buy it.”

Mr Morrison added that fortunately Moray only sees lightning strikes around 25 times a year, but even then the damage had to be repaired and ultimately the bill was being met by taxpayers.