A RESIDENT witnessed an exhaust part of her car being stolen in a blatant early hours theft in Breightmet.

Cheryll Flanagan was alerted to a noise outside her home on Wasdale Avenue at around 4.50am and looked outside to see two men wearing head torches lurking by her Toyota Auris Estate.

She started banging on her windows and went outside to confront the criminals.

But when she opened her front door, the thieves had already made their escape.

Cheryll phoned police to report the incident, which happened on Thursday, March 11, believing that the men had wanted to steal the vehicle.

However, she said she was told they were probably trying to take the catalytic converter.

There has been a sharp rise in the number of catalytic converter thefts in recent years.

The exhaust parts are stolen for their precious metals which are often sold on to unscrupulous scrap dealers.

Cherll said: "I was already awake downstairs and heard a noise outside.

"I looked out the window and saw two men.

"They were wearing head torches and I couldn’t see their faces as they were illuminated.

"I banged on the window for a minute and yelled at them.

"Stupidly, I went to go outside to yell at them but by the time I got there a saw a dark car driving away.

"I presumed that they had not taken anything until I rang the police and explained what happened and they told me about catalytic converter thefts.

"When I went to check my car it was making a horrendous noise."

She said CCTV, which did not show the thieves' faces, caught two cars, a Nissan Micra and a dark small car, which blocked the road, being used by the thieves at the time of the incident.

Cheryll added: "It’s worrying but this happens.

"These people need to go and get a job rather than stealing."

Greater Manchester Police said no arrests have been made.

A force spokeswoman added: "Shortly before 5am on Thursday, March 11, police were called to reports of theft from a motor vehicle on Wasdale Avenue in Bolton."

If you have any information about the theft contact police on 101 quoting reference number 268 of March 11.