London, Mar 16: A thief stole 100,000 pounds worth of lead from the roofs of buildings - using Google Earth.
By using the popular Internet tool, which shows aerial photographs of towns across the world, Tom Berge was able to identify museums, churches and schools across south London with lead roof tiles.
After the 27-year-old builder found a potential target on his home computer he would scale its roof, take the valuable roof materials and abseil down the side of the building, before selling the lead to scrap metal dealers.
Honeywood Museum in Carshalton, Sutton High School for Girls and Croydon Parish Church are among the buildings that he looted in a six-month spree.
"He sat at home at scoured south London for targets with just a few clicks of the mouse," the Telegraph quoted a friend of Berge, from Sutton, south London, as saying.
"He homed in on all sorts of buildings - many of them listed.
"He could tell the lead roofs apart on Google Earth as they were slightly darker than normal," the friend added.
Berge was arrested in Feb and pleaded guilty to theft at Sutton magistrates court last week.
He was sentenced to an eight-month suspended jail term, given 100 hours of community service and put on curfew.