THOUSANDS of pounds of kit has been stolen from Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.  ​

Radios, jackets and helmets were among the £2,500 worth of vital equipment taken from a team member's car parked at their home overnight in Wigan.

Team leader Steven Fletcher told The Bolton News what it means to the charity to lose the kit.

He said: "We're just really disappointed.

"It takes a huge amount of effort from so many team members to raise funds, about £40,000 per year. We want to use our money to help people who need our services, and this is such an avoidable use of those funds."

The team are now appealing to the public, hoping for the return of the equipment and donations to restock as soon as possible.

A post on their Facebook page about the stolen kit has had a huge response, with many slamming those responsible as the "lowest of the low".  One commenter said: "Scumbags, hope they are never in need of help."

Another said: "Heartless, surely they knew what they were stealing."

Mr Fletcher continued: "If it is found, it might be in a state that means much of it is unusable, but it would be nice to get it back."

The full list of kit stolen includes one pair of black waterproof trousers, three red waterproof jackets, a red fleece jumper, a red helmet and a radio. The kit is marked up with 'mountain rescue' labels.

Mr Fletcher addressed the thief personally, saying: "To the person who broke into one of our team member's cars last night.

"The jackets, radio and waterproofs you stole had been paid for from our charity's funds, donated by the public.

"The equipment is used almost weekly to help people injured and in distress. It's clearly marked 'mountain rescue' so isn't much use to you.

"Maybe you want to return it. Perhaps you would like to hand it in?

"Do get in touch. It'll cost us £2500 to replace."

Bolton Mountain Rescue is running a fundraiser on its Facebook page for the equipment, found on The fund has already raised over £200 in generous donations.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: "Officers were called shortly before 7am this morning (Friday 31 January 2020) to reports of a theft from a vehicle overnight on Patterdale Road in Wigan.

"Several items from inside the car were stolen and police are investigating to establish the circumstances surrounding the incident.

"No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing."

Anyone with any information should contact police on 0161 856 7124 quoting incident number 490 of 31/01/2020. Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.