Thefts of Yorkshire stone has rocketed in Wakefield

Thieves stole Yorkshire stone from Woolley Edge Lane, Wakefield, in 2006.
Thieves stole Yorkshire stone from Woolley Edge Lane, Wakefield, in 2006.
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Thieves are stealing more valuable Yorkshire stone from churches and pathways in Wakefield.

Police recorded a 33 per rise in the number of thefts in the past year.

There have been a 34 per cent increase in Bradford and a 37 per cent rise in Kirklees.

Only Leeds and Calderdale saw stone thefts fall.

In the 12 months up to February there were 736 offences reported compared with 623 the previous 12 months - a rise of 18 per cent.

Chris Joyce, West Yorkshire Police crime prevention officer, said: “Yorkshire stone can be targeted due to its value and I’d like to urge people to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity, noting descriptions of individuals and vehicles that may be involved in this type of crime.

“Not all offences will take place during the hours of darkness, so please keep a look out for anything that may appear suspicious during the day too.

“It’s important that we protect our heritage in West Yorkshire and do all that we can to disrupt the activity of offenders.”

The thefts have affected householders whose paths have been ripped up and historic buildings such as churches.