POLICE are urging caravan owners to be vigilant after a spate of thefts targeting the popular mobile holiday homes.

Lancashire police are say there have been a number of caravans stolen from West, Lancashire, Chorley and the surrounding areas.

As well as issuing crime prevention advices, an operation to catch those responsible for the thefts has been launched.

It comes as The Bolton News reported a family, from Horwich, had their caravan stolen ­— which was later found on Moss Bank Park, where travellers had set up camp last week last week.

Lancashire police are working with neighbouring forces to crackdown on this type of theft.

Earlier this year caravans worth £40,000 were stolen from a high-security lock-up – with one being traced to a travellers site.

Thieves struck at the the lock-up on a farm on the Westhoughton-Atherton border on Monday at around 7.30pm.

They cut through a padlock securing 6ft high steel gates to get to the parked vehicles.

Over the weekend, police led a day of action to crackdown on caravan thefts, finding five stolen mobile holiday homes.

A spokesman for Chorley Police said: "South RTF (Rural Task Force) conducted a day of action in relation to caravan related thefts. During the operation the team have located and seized five stolen caravans, a stolen Land Rover Discovery and a stolen tri axle trailer.

"We will now begin the process of returning them to their rightful owners. Enquiries are still ongoing. We will continue to tenaciously track, trace, and recover stolen property."

Police urged people to "please secure your property, keep and update records of vin numbers/ CRIS numbers and activate trackers."

Adding: "Rural taskforce are working closely with Tac ops, your local NPT'S and neighbouring forces. If you see suspicious activity report it!"