A HEARTLESS thief has stolen solar lights from the garden of a little boy with severe autism.

Chris and Emma Hocking, whose son Corey has the developmental disorder, had put the lights up in their front garden because the seven-year-old loves looking out of the window at them.

Mr and Mrs Hocking also have a daughter, Lily, four, who has suspected Asperger’s, and they say their children have both been left devastated by the theft.

Mr Hocking, who lives in Warwick Road, Blackburn, said: “We had just this week finished tidying the front garden and added some solar lights for the kids to enjoy.

“My son is severely autistic and my daughter has suspected Asperger’s, so they enjoy the lights and looking out the window at them. Corey especially likes the lights.

“We went to bed on Thursday night and when we came down on Friday we saw they had gone.

“Lily noticed straight away and said ‘oh, where have the lights gone?’.

“She’s got quite obsessive behaviour and this really upset her.”

Mr Hocking said when he checked his CCTV footage he saw a woman had entered the garden, ripped up most of the lights and stuffed them into a pot she was carrying, which looked like it had other items in it.

The 45-year-old, who is still having to go to work at Asda in Blackburn, said: “At around 11.50pm a woman came to the house and stole the lights from the front garden.

“She took around half of them and the other ones she’d ripped up the cables and left them in a mess.

“By the look of it she’d also been stealing plants from other gardens as she was carrying two big boxes with flowers in.

“The lights weren’t majorly expensive but it’s the principle of the matter.

“With the current situation, I think it’s rather disgusting that somebody should be out ignoring the lockdown rules and stealing from people.

“If people are out doing this, what else is going on and what else are they stealing?

“We reported it to the police but there’s probably not much they can do.”

Mr Hocking said he doesn’t want to bother getting anymore lights as he’s worried the same thing might happen again.

He said: “We were trying to do something nice for the kids during this difficult time and some low life does that.

“They’re not doing what the government has told them to do so they can go out stealing things, it’s selfish and disgusting.”

Anyone with any information about the theft should contact the police on 101 quoting log number 1324 of March 27.