A SPATE of spare wheel thefts from urban and rural areas in Rossendale and Briercliffe has prompted police to urge residents and business owners to be vigilant.

A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “A prevalent crime in the urban areas of late has been the theft of spare wheels from vehicles that have them slung under the bodywork at the back.

“In particular, commercial vans were the prime target.

“Thieves either unbolt the cradle, or snip the restraining cables to drop the wheel. This now seems to be moving into the rural domain, with a wheel stolen from a Nissan pickup on Todmorden Road, Briercliffe, last week.

“Please be aware of this type of crime.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.