CARING residents sprung into action to raise money for Bolton's Mountain Rescue team after thousands of pounds of kit was stolen.

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

After launching an urgent appeal to fundraise for vital replacement kit, members of the public donated £2,473 in under a week.

Team leader Steven Fletcher said: "Thanks to everyone who has shared our post about the theft of team equipment from one of our members' vehicles in Wigan.

The generosity and public-spiritedness of so many of you restores our faith in humanity when compared to the actions of one thief.

"It costs £40,000 each year to run BMRT so your donations will make a massive difference."

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.

A post on their Facebook page last week about the stolen kit 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 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."

Anyone who finds kit or has information can report it to the police on 0161 856 7124 quoting incident number 490 of 31/01/2020.