THIEVES have been stealing sections of walls during a spate of stone thefts in East Lancashire.

Stone has been taken in both urban and rural areas, with the thieves pilfering everything from paving slabs to wall stones, police said.

Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley have all seen a number of thefts in the past few days.

Half a dozen thefts have been reported in Pendle alone, as well as three or four in the Clitheroe area.

In Pendle, residents reported stone missing from Green Road, Birtwistle Close, Derby Street, and notably, a section of wall top stones were stolen from Southfield Lane, which measured 1ft by 1.5ft and were two inches thick. In Clitheroe, thefts have been reported from several locations, including Highfield Road and Henthorn Road.

Watch liaison officer Keith Sandham said: “In the past week they’ve targeted the Pendle area, then moved down into the Burnley area via Marsden and Southfield.

“Thefts have happened in both rural and urban areas and they’ve been taking stones off tops of walls, and stone flags.

“They’ve also been taking some over in the Clitheroe area. If you have any information that may help the police, please let us know.

“Perhaps you saw a vehicle acting suspiciously or parked somewhere unusual. The thieves often dress in hi-vis clothing, looking official and are quite brazen about it.”

Anyone with any information should ring 101 and ask for the local Neighbourhood Policing Team or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.