VILLAGERS could take the law into their own hands after a spate 'Gone in 60 Seconds" car thefts, a councillor has warned.

For the past months, Little Lever and the surrounding areas have been targeted by what is believed to be a gang stealing cars to order ­— and now there is talk of neighbours working together to catch those responsible.

Cllr Sean Hornby said: "There has been a spate of burglaries in which vehicles have been stolen, mainly in the early hours but also in broad daylight.

"There was an incident on the Barrett estate when someone walked into the house and stole the car keys and drove off with the car.

"But the burglaries are mainly taking place at at 2am and 3am."

He added: "This has been happening for several months now and it is happening across Little Lever ­— the racecourse estate, Ladyshore estate and the Barrett estate ­— as well as Darcy Lever."

Cllr Hornby said: "People are getting very very angry and feel enough is enough.

"There are three different Whatsapp groups for residents in Little Lever and I am a member of them all, every night an alert is being put out ­— these thefts are happening nightly.

"There is talk that people are prepared to got out themselves and catch the culprits, which in itself could be quite dangerous."

The councillor said victims had contacted police and been issued with crime reference numbers.

"I together with Cllr Reece Gibbon have requested an urgent meeting with the police because the concern is people will start taking the law into their own hands."

He added: "Those responsible are youths, and I do think it is the same gang responsible and it seems that the car are being stolen to order.

"Number plates have also been stolen in the village."

Cllr Hornby, who is calling for regularly nightly police patrols, urged residents to step-up security measures on their home and cars.

Residents have taken to Facebook to report that they have seen people taking pictures of their vehicle and cars being broken into.

Another posted: "All the decent hard working people need to set up something and sort this kind of behaviour ourselves."

With another adding: "We need to start a patrol ourselves if we can get enough volunteers."

Cllr Hornby said that Little Lever will once again have a police post after the loss of the police station in 2009.

He said: "The police station was lost when the council sold off the building but now we have are kitting out a centre in The Haven, just behind the memorial garden, where police can use as an office and a police sign will be placed outside.

"We are going to use some of the town centre money for Little Lever on CCTV cameras."

Cllr Hornby is hoping to meet with senior police officers in the coming days.