THIEVES have made off with more than two dozen metal grids from streets in Horwich, Blackrod and Halliwell.

A total of 26 gully tops have gone missing from public streets in recent days, including seven taken from Dark Lane in Blackrod alone. It costs about £200 to replace the drain covers, meaning Bolton Council faces a bill of £5,000.

In cases where a lid has to be made to measure or when a certain type of cover is no longer being mass produced, the cost of replacement can be much higher.

Cllr David Chadwick, said: “Taking drain covers is stealing directly from the council taxpayers of Bolton and the replacement cost means there is less money to spend elsewhere.

“On top of that, leaving drains and gullies open represents a serious risk to the public.

“I urge everyone to be vigilant and encourage anyone with information to report the perpetrators to the police.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Greater Manchester Police on 101.

Missing drain covers can be reported via the or Bolton Council website.

In each case, the council has installed temporary measures if an immediate replacement cover cannot be found.