Birmingham & Black Country

Bronze gun stolen from Smethwick war memorial

A bronze rifle from a World War I memorial has been stolen from outside a community centre in the Black Country.

Staff noticed the gun was missing from outside Thimblemill Recreational Centre, Smethwick, earlier this month. It is thought it was stolen in April.

The memorial depicts a soldier standing with the butt of his rifle resting on the ground.

It is the second time the statue has been targeted by metal thieves.

Sandwell mayor Pauline Hinton said: "It's totally disrespectful.

"These statues are erected to remember people who died for us. It's disgusting to think people could do this."

Pc Tristan Jesse said the rifle would have been tarnished by the weather causing it to look green or blue in hue.

He added: "Unfortunately this is the second time the sculpture has been targeted by thieves, with sections of the bronze wreaths having been taken previously."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or call Crimestoppers anonymously.

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