SHAMELESS thieves dug up a Little Lever couple's patio — saying hello to their seven-year-old son when he spotted them in the garden.

Vicky Herrity was left stunned after discovering that eight expensive York stone flags had been taken from their back yard in Church Street.

But she was even more shocked when she found that her young son Dylan had seen the thieves after hearing a noise.

Mrs Herrity, and her husband Anthony have lived in Church Street since 1996, with sons Dylan and 18-year-old Ryan, as well as daughters Natalie, aged 16 and nine-year-old Holly.

They have never previously had any problems at the address.

Mrs Herrity said: "Dylan could not really describe them. I could not believe it when he told me. He just thought they were working in the back yard.

"The fact they said 'hello' to him is unbelievable.

"Being that age, he just thought it was normal. I wish he had run upstairs to me, but he did not.

"When I noticed, he said to me that he'd seen these men and I couldn't believe it."

Mrs Herrity and her four children were in the house when the thieves struck on Sunday, July 28, but only Dylan saw them.

Mr Herrity said: "I have concreted the patio now. The slabs are £65 each, and the home insurance excess was about that, so it was a lot of money for us either way.

"We couldn't believe it. I went out to work at 7.30am and they were there.

"I've been asking around and it seems that it seems people are targeting stone and flags as it is not traceable. They're moving away from scrap metal."

A police spokesman said: "We are investigating after the eight York stone flags were stolen on July 28 between 7.30am and 11.30am.

"The evidence of a witness, aged seven, shows that the suspects were white men, one of whom was wearing a hat, and had a scruffy appearance."