Warning over stone thefts

Residents are being warned to be extra vigilant following a recent spate of thefts involving precious Yorkstone flags.

Thieves have been operating in the Orrell and Pemberton area as a small number of home owners have reported their paving flags have been stolen.

One pensioner, who did not wish to be named, said two Yorkstone flags had been removed from his drive, and the driveway of a neighbour in Ormskirk Road, Pemberton.

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He said: “Thieves took a small flag and a larger one and did the same with my neighbour.

“I put a post on Facebook and it appears other people have been in touch to say that they have had flags stolen, some lower down in Ormskirk Road.

“It appears the robbers then scoured the Valley Road area before moving on to Orrell where they lifted many stone flags before a resident disturbed them.

“I have called the police, but not much is being done. I am waiting for them to send me a crime number.

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“I don’t think many residents would bother reporting it to the police.

“There is CCTV near Carnegie Library where some flags were stolen and I believe that is currently being viewed.

“I am concerned about this as this type of act has happened before. Every so often there is a dramatic increase in Yorkstone thefts and then it phases away.

“They are worth quite a bit of money so they are in demand.

“My advice to people is to heavily cement them in so it will be harder for thieves to drag them out and they will create more noise.

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“Or drill holes in it so they are worthless to thieves as they have been defaced.

“It is not fair that people have taken care to create a nice driveway and they are either worried about thefts or have to ruin the flags to prevent thieves from taking them.”

The thefts occurred in the early hours of last week.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said that it had no confirmed reports of the thefts but warned that thieves would be prosecuted if caught committing a criminal act.