BRAZEN thieves have stolen historic stonework from a Wigan church’s wall.
In a raid described by police as “sickening”, a whole long row of coping stones was removed the perimeter of Abram Parish Church’s grounds.
The value of the stolen masonry has been estimated at around £2,000. They are described as triangular prism-shaped dark blue stones - rather like short sections of a Toblerone package.
Dozens of them were taken and there is little doubt that the thief or thieves used a vehicle.
They struck at the Warrington Road premises between 12pm on Monday and 11am on Wednesday this week.
And parishioners and neighbours have already turned detective in a bid to help the police recover the property and catch the thieves.
Jack Hughes, who helps out at the church, said: “It looks like they picked off the mortar and then carried these dozens of stones across the bowling green of the Buck’s Head next door and loaded them onto a vehicle.
“When we discovered the wall sections had gone we followed the footprints and the bits of mortar across the green. They will be pretty old; in fact I would think they date back to when the church itself was built in 1937.
“There is some building work going on at the Buck’s Head at the moment so witnesses may have mistaken the thieves’ vehicle for those of the workmen, although the theft’s most likely to have happened in the middle of the night.”
Anyone with details should ring police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.