Uppermill carjacking is top of Saddleworth’s latest crime spike

UPPERMILL residents and businesses have asked to be vigilant after a recent crime spree in the village including a car-jacking and spate of early morning break-ins.

The Co-op in Lees was also closed briefly closed after reports of a robbery on August Bank Holiday Monday.

And brazen criminals have targeted several churches across Saddleworth during a spate of flagstone thefts.

Greater Manchester Police’s helicopter was scrambled on Friday, August 23 after reports of a robbery at a domestic property in Diggle.

Descriptions were posted on social media as officers joined the helicopter crew in searching for two alleged offenders.

Later, an Audi belonging to a female driver, was taken by car-jackers, close to the scene of a similar incident two years ago.

Despite requests for clarification GMP had not responded by the time the Independent went to press 11 days later.

Six businesses: Saints Café at St Mary’s Gate, Solo hair design and Seftons accountants on High Street, plus Hair and Beauty, the Frostery and Countryside Kids on Court Street were hit by raiders in the early hours of Monday, September 2.

One frustrated shop owner said: “Whoever it was smashed the glass at the bottom of the time to crawl through.

“It looks like a quick in and out for cash as no electrical equipment or products were touched.”

Countryside Kids posted on the shop’s Facebook page: “Please. Please, please stay vigilant. It is mindless acts like these that close village shops.”

Meanwhile, police have warned people to be aware after flags were taken from the pavement at Hill End Road, Delph in early August.

Flagstones also went missing from Kilngreen Church and Community Hall in Diggle. More than 20 were removed from outside St Chad’s Church, above Uppermill, days later.

Most recently, thefts were reported on Sunday, August 25 from Uppermill and also coping stones taken from the top of a dry-stone wall at Greenfield.

Locals have been encouraged to look out for any suspicious activity and be particularly alert if they are having any development work done or are going away.

Police have been informed of the thefts and are carrying out enquiries.

A GMP spokesperson said: “Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting incident number 1353 of 06/08/19.

“Reports can also be made anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

The Rev Canon Sharon Jones, leader of the Saddleworth Church of England Team that looks after St Chad’s and Kilngreen, said: “There is anger and dismay at the theft of flagstones from Saddleworth churches and across the Oldham area.

“Theft of this kind causes anxiety and sadness, particularly at a time when churches are struggling financially to maintain precious places on behalf of the communities they serve.”

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