A COMMUNITY group has asked park-goers to remain vigilant following the theft of a number of decorative stones.

Friends of Bold Venture Park, in Darwen, took to Facebook to implore visitors to keep an eye out for anything suspicious after the stones, which line the path, were stolen.

Group chairman Harry Duxbury described the theft as ‘mindless violence’.

He said: “Someone walking through the park noticed and reported it to us.

“They have been taken from the path by the park entrance on Belgrave Road.

“We have had some incidents of people ripping bins off and setting fire to things, but we’ve never had this before, it’s mindless vandalism.”

Mr Duxbury said he was concerned the park was being targeted by the same thieves who raided a park in Blackburn last month.

The thieves drove in to Griffin Park, Blackburn in a bid to steal valuable slabs of York stone from a wall.

After loading their van, they realised they were unable to move thanks to the weight of the stone causing the van to sink into the mud.

Mr Duxbury said: “It’s worrying because there’s a group that have been stealing stones from Griffin Park in Blackburn so I wonder if it’s part of the same group.

“One of the things we were concerned about was that the main gate was being left unlocked at night, meaning it would be a simple thing for someone to drive in and help themselves to the stone.

“Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“We have reported the theft to the police and the council and are asking users of Bold Venture Park be to vigilant and if you spot anything suspicious, call the police.”

Councillor Jim Smith, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “These criminals use vehicles and they may also be trying to sell the stone around the borough. If anyone has any information, please contact the police or the council.”