Wigan fishing tackle thieves caught on CCTV

A Wigan man who had up to £10,000 of fishing equipment stolen from his van says this is the third time he has been targeted by crooks in the last year and a half.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 10:05 am

Lee Hilton, an electrician who lives on Bexhill Drive, was one of several Hindley Green residents to fall victim to burglars in the early hours of Monday November 1.

The thieves, captured on various CCTV cameras in the area, also stole pedal cycles and bicycles from other homes, using a pair of boltcutters. There seems to be little doubt the incidents are related.

Unfortunately, a fault in Lee’s personal CCTV system prevented clear video of the theft itself, but he managed to piece together what happened using footage from neighbours.

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The hooded thieves with the stolen fishing gear

He said: “You can tell that it only took them seconds to get into the van.”

Having moved into his property 18 months ago, this is the third crime he and his family have suffered - including a terrifying encounter with masked intruders.

He said: “Since we moved in here I’ve already had the car broken into and then two masked raiders who came through the front door when we were in bed.

“They came right through the door and turned the lights on in the living room!”

Thankfully, that time, Lee woke up before the intruders could take anything and scared them off.

As a keen angler who fishes for Leeds Tackle, Lee spent years collecting the equipment he uses on his weekly angling trips.

He said: “People don’t realise how much it all adds up to. I’d say it all cost between seven and ten thousand pounds.”

Various power tools that Lee requires for his job were also taken, while other items were left discarded outside the van.

He said: “They’ve not only taken my hobby, they’ve tried to take away my livelihood and they just don’t care.

“It needs to be stopped, it really does.”

Anyone with information about the break-ins or the possible whereabouts of the stolen property can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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