Wednesday, January 9, 2013


VALUABLE Yorkshire stone paving slabs have been ripped up from Liverpool's historic Hope Street area in a daring daylight robbery.

Two sections of stones, laid almost 200 years ago, disappeared from Blackburne Place, and from Huskisson Street, outside St Bride's Church over the weekend.

In both cases thieves put “men at work” barriers around the excavations to give the impression of legitimate road works as they went about their business amid an unsuspecting public.

Now Merseyside Police is investigating the thefts after they were flagged up by Liverpoool Confidential. If not stolen to order, it is most likely that the stones, which are unmarked, will be sold on the lucrative black market as “reclaimed”.

Today Dr Emlyn Williams, from the Rodney Street Association, issued a plea to local residents to be on the look out for street thieves posing as genuine workers. He said: “It is clear this is the work of thieves. They have left gaping holes in the pavements with no regard for public safety. "I would urge anybody in the area to keep a close watch for work teams and take down any particulars, such as vehicle registration numbers. It is almost certain that legitimate contractors and the utility companies will have identifiable vehicles.”

Today swift repair work was carried out in Blackburne Place by the council after it was alerted by Councillor Tim Moore, its cabinet member for transport and climate change. He said he had plans to have urgent talks with highways and security officials to discuss ways of protecting streets from theft.

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