Callous thieves dig up and steal Ribble Valley church paving slabs

Thieves who stole from St Wilfred's Church, Ribchester, have been described as 'brazen and callous'.

The offenders targeted the village church between 7-30 and 8-30pm on Sunday.

The area which was targeted

The area which was targeted

Rector, the Rev. Canon Brian McConkey is disgusted with the theft in the pathway leading up to the church, but says the church will remain open to parishioners.

He commented: "Sadly, flag stones have been stolen from our church. The crime has been reported to the police who are investigating. Our church building will continue to stay open as normal and we are thankful for the response from the village which has been has been amazing. Many have called it 'brazen' to carry the crime at this time and we would urge witnesses to contact police on 101."

Sgt Kevin Day, of Clitheroe Police, said: "Stone theft has become more prevalent over the years as there is a considerable value placed on certain types of flags and coping stones. The thefts often take place during the hours of darkness and the crimes occur quickly and quietly. One of the most practical ways to prevent this type of offence is to ensure that the stones are firmly cemented or fixed in place. Vehicles are clearly being used to transport the stones and we welcome any information in connection with suspicious cars and vans, particularly overnight and in remote locations."