CAR owners are being warned to take measures to secure alloy wheels after a spate of robberies in the area.

Six sets of alloys have been stolen from the Astley area over the past four weeks, and someone has been arrested in conjunction with further incidents in Lowton.

All the incidents occurred at similar times, about 4am. Police believe thieves have removed the expensive wheels by jacking up the car, stealing all four wheels, then leaving the vehicle on bricks or garden stones found nearby.

Sgt Dave Waddicor, of Leigh police, said: "None of the vehicles targeted have had a locking wheel studs, this makes the wheels easy to remove. Alloys can be very expensive to replace so investing in a set of locking wheel studs for about £15-£20, or parking the car in the garage, could save a lot of money in the long-run."

Two thieves were disturbed in action by a neighbour of the victim in Parkfield Avenue, Astley at 5am on Thursday.

The pair, who escaped with one wheel, are both white men.

"The first is described as 6ft tall with a shaved head and was wearing a light-coloured top and tracksuit bottoms.

The second man is 5ft 8in and of stocky build with short hair. He was also wearing tracksuit bottoms.

Sgt Waddicor said: "I'm sure they would have stolen all four if they hadn't been disturbed."

Anyone with any information should call Leigh Police on 0161 856 7257 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.