POLICE have launched a clampdown against brazen thieves who are uprooting Wigan residents’ garden paths for the valuable paving stones.
Neighbourhood officers say there has been a significant increase in the number of thefts of York stone flags, particularly from the Pemberton area, in recent months.
Thieves have been operating at night using tools to steal the flags from driveways, footpaths and gardens. Officers are now appealing for information and asking residents to remain vigilant.
PC Daniel Vickers said: “In our view, this is a large scale operation where paving stones have been stolen to be resold elsewhere. The thieves are likely to have tools and a heavy goods vehicle to be able to do this.
“Unfortunately, we have not managed to get a description from any victims, so our appeal is two-fold; we would like anyone who may have seen this group in action to call us. You may have thought that some innocent removal of materials was taking place, despite the late hour, if indeed you took note that something was even happening.”
Many of the incidents have been in the Pemberton area with the majority of affected homes on Ormskirk Road, police said.
PC Vickers added: “We would also like residents in the area to be extra vigilant.
“A number of inquiries have been made by officers, not least to try and establish where the items may have gone, but we are still not sure where these items are being sold. Please call the police if you see any suspicious activity.”
Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.