THIEVES broke into a flood warden’s car and stole his work possessions while the volunteer was helping people as Storm Hannah hit the county last weekend.

On Saturday, the Ribble Valley man lost the equipment he uses for his day-to-day job as a joiner, including Dewalt cordless tools and battery packs.

The theft occurred between noon and 9pm in Whalley while the volunteer, in his 60s, was delivering flood protection products, including hydro sacks, to residents in the village.

The thieves' behaviour has been described as 'appalling' by Ribble Valley councillor Terry Hill, who represents the area.

Katei Blezard, of Whalley and Billington Flood Action Group, also condemned the actions of the thieves and said: “This man deserves thanks not theft.”

The 42-year-old described the volunteer, who does not want to be named, as a ‘stalwart’ of the community who has been working with the local flood action group since the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

The victim, who is one of 20 wardens who volunteer for Whalley and Billington Flood Action Group, had been working from Friday night to check for flood flash points.

Ms Blezard, from Clitheroe said the flood warden had been working throughout the night as he checked for wind speeds and river levels. The mum-of-six said: “He is one of our reliable volunteers.

“I found out about the theft on Monday when he sent a message to our group to let us know about the theft.

“Everybody is disgusted and quite shocked about it. Normally the people in Whalley are so welcome but unfortunately someone has taken the opportunity to steal from him.”

Cllr Hill, of Democratic Conservatives, also slammed the actions of the thieves and said: "Nothing it surprising these days.

"How low can you you get? It's disgraceful and it's happening all over the borough.

"At the end of the day there are lots of opportunists around and it's just depressing what's going on in our society."

Cash donations have already been made to the volunteer to help replace the stolen goods.

Ms Blezard added: “Whalley is community minded but unfortunately in a community you have people who take advantage of situations.”

The police have also been contacted about the incident.

If anyone has any information about the incident contact Katei via Ribble Valley Weather Information and Community Assistance Facebook group.