An opportunistic thief in the UK found an inventive use for Google Earth recently, using it to scout for scrap metal in his town which he then sold for thousands.

Roofer Tom Berge has confessed to over 30 offences of stealing lead from historic buildings near London, and admitted to using Google Earth to scope out his illegal bounty.

Take the lead

He used the website, which offers detailed maps and satellite images, to find roofs in his area which were darker in colour. This meant that the roofs were lined with lead.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said about the incident: "The properties hit included Sutton High School for Girls and the Honeywood museum, Carshalton, where £10,000-worth of lead was removed from the roof of each building.

"Another building hit was Croydon parish church where the theft of lead from its roof let in the rain and caused extensive damage."

In all it is estimated that Berge earned around £100,000 for the lead and scrap metal he stole.

He has been sentenced to eight months in prison.

Via The Independent