Stone thieves strike in Mossley

THIEVES have taken flagstones and coping stones off walls in Mossley after similar incidents in neighbouring Saddleworth.

A flagstone was taken from outside Hancock Plastics on Manchester Road shortly after 8pm on Tuesday, September 4.

That followed stones being snatched from the top of a wall along the carriageway on the same day.

These incidents came shortly after similar cases that have left police warning people to be aware.

Paving flags were taken from the pavement at Hill End Road in Delph in early August.

And at about the same time, flagstones also went missing from Kilngreen Church and Community Hall in Diggle.

On top of that, more than 20 were taken from outside St Chad’s Church, above Uppermill, just days later.

Most recently, thefts were reported on Sunday, August 25 from Uppermill and also coping stones taken from the top of a dry stone wall at Greenfield.

In previous years, thieves have taken flagstones as well as carved tops from across Saddleworth and Mossley.

Now locals have been encouraged to look out for any suspicious activity and be particularly alert if they are having any development work done or are going away.

Police have been informed of the thefts and are carrying out enquiries.

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said of the Diggle theft: “No arrests have been made.

“Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 1353 of 06/08/19.

“Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Thefts from churches attracted a fiery response from the Rev Canon Sharon Jones, leader of The Saddleworth Church of England Team that looks after St Chad’s and Kilngreen.

She said: “There is anger and dismay at the theft of flagstones from Saddleworth churches and across the Oldham area.

“Theft of this kind causes anxiety and sadness, particularly at a time when churches are struggling financially to maintain precious places on behalf of the communities they serve.”

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