Homeowners in Bolton are being urged to report the theft of of decorative gatepost finials to the police after a spate of such thefts across the borough.

The Bolton News reported last month how people were waking up to find the tops of gateposts were missing.

Now such thefts seem to be on the increase and have been reported across Bolton, with police referrring people to their website on how to protect their home from burglars.

Residents believe this is a new trend, following a spate of burglaries took place for Yorkshire paving slabs between June and August and before that lead from roofs.

The Bolton News: Ivy RoadIvy Road (Image: Public)

Residents have aired their concerns with people being left feeling worried and wanting answers.

Several neighbours from around the Smithills and Halliwell area reported their gatepost tops as being stolen back in September and just this week residents in Over Hulton and Farnworth have experienced the same problem.

The distinctive finials are made from brick.

Many houses in Bolton still have the old gateposts tops.

Sharon Forrest woke up to see her gate post tops had been taken overnight on Ivy Road on September 25.

Sharon said: “I got up and realised they had been taken but I had not seen anything.

“I just cannot believe it, I have been living here for 30 years and my house is over 100 years old, so you just do not expect it and I have never known anything like it.

“It seems to be happening one after another.”

She said: "I watched a video and a man come and takes the post, the carries it back to his car.

"I feel angry because it’s something you cannot replace, and I have just ended up buying something cheap to cover mine.

“I do not want to spend any more money on replacements if they are just going to be stolen again.

“It may seem like it is a bit trivial but it is part of the character of the houses and it is the aesthetic of the house."

The theft seemed to have taken place in the early hours of the morning and Sharon is also enocuraging people to come forward and tell the police if it has happened to them.

She said: "I feel disappointed and I know a lot of people feel that nothing will happen but I want them to tell the police.

"Some may even have been taken in the afternoon, these people do not care, they have no shame.

"I am worried about the crime in the area if this keeps happening."

Cllr Sue Haworth is advising people to contact the police if they have their post tops stolen.

She said: “I heard about the thieving of gate posts from people in the St Helens Road area.

"There has been a number of theft of tops to posts at homes gates in the last few weeks in Bolton South East.

“Please make good use of your CCTV cameras if you have any.

ALSO READ: Historic decorative gatepost tops stolen in a spate of thefts

“We need to catch these culprits who are going round in the night time and making off with these items.

"The night is a thieves wide open area, driving around looking to steal these posts.

The Bolton News: Houses have had gate post tops stolen on Newbrook RoadHouses have had gate post tops stolen on Newbrook Road (Image: John Bullen)“We are all asked to report all incidents of theft and concerns to the police GMP and encourage those we know who mention this to get the incidents reported too."

Residents in Over Hulton are amongst those who have recently had the tops stolen and they are working hard to prevent it from happening again.

By the use of a WhatsApp group, which they have had set up for two years, the community managed to get crime down to almost nothing, and these recent spates of burglary are being classed as ‘unusual’.

John Bullen, a resident in the area and a member of the Over Hulton Community Group, said: “The mystery is that the tops are very very heavy, the people stealing them must be coming rekeying it first and planning it all out and the three houses that were done on Newbrook Road, all next to each other, are owned by elderly residents and elderly residents don’t tend to have CCTV.

“So, to me it feels like it has all been carefully planned out, our police officers are currently looking into it, I know that for a fact.

“We have had a situation around here over the last two years where we have got crime down to nothing and this is so unusual and especially the fact they might be coming and rekeying it first.

“That is what worries me most, that there is somebody coming into our area and looking everything up and thinking we will hit that area tonight.

“When I say we got crime down to nothing, we set up a WhatsApp system and we have got nearly 2,000 people on it now in a small village.

“Everybody is working together, we will catch these people because of the system we have set up."


If you have a story or something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at chloe.wilson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @chloewjourno.