Stone raider gangs hit Padiham heritage

Padiham resident Mr William Pilkington who is calling for action over stone thieves after flags were stolen from Albert Street.'Photo Ben Parsons

Padiham resident Mr William Pilkington who is calling for action over stone thieves after flags were stolen from Albert Street.'Photo Ben Parsons

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Furious residents have slammed stone-raiding gangs for “stealing Padiham’s heritage”.

Criminals have repeatedly targeted the town’s prized Conservation Area to steal valuable stone work.

Dozens of stone flags and coping stones have been ripped up along Albert Street, Queen Street and Parish Street in the crime spree.

Leading councillors have blamed organised gangs for targeting Padiham’s most historic streets,

Residents have even caught men helping themselves to stones in broad day light and say police need to take tough action.

Mr William Pilkington, of Albert Street, said raiders had ripped four flags stones up from outside his garage.

He said: “We have been plagued by stone thieves. We have put so much hard work into making it a nice community around here and it is being wrecked.

“These thieves are striking during the day. They are really quick – the must be professionals. It is absolutely brazen.”

He said descriptions of the men and registration numbers had been taken, adding: “The neighbours have been waiting and watching for them to come back.”

Coun. Bob Clark said: “They are stealing our heritage from the conservation area. We found piles of stone all over the place. There’s a gang and they have got them ready to be picked up when it’s dark.

“But police said they can’t do anything until they are stolen.”