A dad of two has put his house on the market in a bid to move out of Smithills after a milk bottle and a coat was stolen off their doorstep in the latest of incidents.

Stefan Urban and his family have been living in Smithills for three years at Harpers Lane and say the once nice area has gone downhill due to petty crime.

Most recently, Stefan’s family were the targets of theft after someone stole a milk bottle and a child’s North Face jacket from the doorstep this morning at 6am.

Stefan said: “We have lived here for three years in Smithills and since we moved in, we are now looking to move out of the area and put the house on sale.

The Bolton News: Stefan Urban

“I left my son’s coat outside when I was cleaning my car and left it to pick up while going into house, but I forgot it.

“This morning I woke up to a Ring Doorbell announcement and could see them in daylight picking up milk and the North Face jacket which his grandma bought him.

The thief took one bottle of milk and a coat worth £120, but Stefan says the issue is wider than this.

He said: “Everyone I speak to is asking what on earth is happening to Bolton.

“His grandma, my mum, spent what she could on him, and I should not have left it but it is infuriating and half of me is glad I did not see that person because though I am not a violent person, I think I would have sone something because I was so angry.

“We have cameras as well and the one time we left something it happens, so it shows that they are just watching.”

Stefan has not told his own children but says the family are now doing more checks to ensure safety.

He said: “I will keep my eyes open now.

“We make sure we lock all the doors properly and this has confirmed my thoughts about the area.

“We work hard in life for nice things, and it makes you nervous that you cannot have nice things, and I always think we are going to get broken into.”

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Cllr Gary Veevers for the Liberal Democrats said while he was not aware of the incidents in the area, crime figures for the area could be higher if people do not report them.

He said: “We get regular updates from police and while it is sad we get these, I am not aware of the figures higher in Smithills but figures may be higher than those published because people lose faith in police and think reporting it will not get anywhere.

“I am aware police are doing good work to prevent crime like theft and reduce it.

“Harpers Lane is quite a nice area usually but of course any town can become a target by thieves.”