SCRAP metal thieves are driving down Clayton-le-Moors back alleys and peering over fences in broad daylight, police have warned.
Since the beginning of November there has been a spate of lead thefts in the town with two last weekend (12-13) on Moor Street. Other terraced houses and a residental home have been targeted on Scott Street, Grange Street and Whalley Road.
Robert Caddick, of Grange Street, had lead flashing stolen from his roof last week.
He said: "We've seen them going up and down and you know what they're up to. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen them.
"You'll just see a head going past the top of the wall usually at breakfast or dinner time. They're just driving down looking for empty houses and anything that's easy to take.
"My wife has had a stroke and I'm the main carer and this is just not what we need."
Sergeant Stuart Banks said: "The people we are looking for in connection with lead thefts and metal thefts sometimes drive round in vans. If you see people climbing on roofs and not obviously builders or doing repairs then I would ask people to call us."
Community Beat Manager PC Paul Pountain said: "It is not only the theft of lead which is causing problems but the removal of the lead which can cause hundreds of pounds worth of damage. I would also encourage members of the public to make sure they do not leave empty bins or containers in easily accessible places as these can be used to transport the lead flashing.
"If any member of the public is concerned about the lead at their address they can call into our office and organise to use the anti-climb paint which is free of charge."
Mr Caddick wants to see the alleyway gated off, or bollards placed in the street, but apparently has been told this is a non-starter.
He said: "I don't see why not. In Liverpool back alleys are all gated off to stop things like this from happening."
Sergeant Banks added: "Certain areas do have alleygating but this is something done by the local authority and we would supply them with authority to support that if it was related to crime or anti-social behaviour. It would be something the residents and council would have to agree on."
Anyone with information regarding lead thefts can ring the Neighbourhood Policing team on 01254 353334 or visit the Neighbourhood Management offices on Arthur Street.