Boots Opticians in Darlington has had part of its ceiling collapse due to lead theft from its roof.

Several businesses on the same road as the opticians have also been victims of lead theft, which has caused rainwater to come through the practice’s roof and flooded an upper floor. The practice has had to cancel some appointments as they are unable to use the rooms upstairs.

Optometrist and branch manager Michael McGrath said: ‘We have had to close all of the top floor due to the damage caused by the rain pouring in through the ceiling. The damage it has caused is quite significant and we are not currently allowed on the third floor for safety reasons. The first damage was caused over the Easter holidays but before we could get the lead replaced, the thieves had come back and stolen even more lead from the buildings. The damage is going to cost thousands of pounds to put right.’