THE Maldon district’s radio station is off the air after its transmitter was stolen overnight.

Saint FM, which is based at St Peter’s High School in Southminster Road, Burnham, is currently only able to broadcast online after its transmitter was stolen from a site in Mayland at about 8.30pm on Tuesday December 30.

The station will now be forced to look for a new one which could cost about £2,500 and installation charges could see that figure rise to up to £8,000.

It is hoped insurance will cover the cost but until a claim is put in the station will not know what is going to happen and if it will have to find any of the money itself.

Other equipment was also at the site but only the transmitter was stolen, leading staff at the station to believe it was specifically targeted by thieves.

Sandra Amey Martin, station organiser, said everyone is shocked and dismayed after hearing the news.

She said: “We’re all extremely upset and disgusted someone would do this.

“We live in quite a rural area and offer a vital service to a lot of people who don’t all have internet access and have lost complete contact with us.

“At the moment we’re completely off air and we don’t know how long it will be for.”

The police have been informed and are expected to visit the station at midday today (December 31).