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Cemetery targeted by raiders
Valuable 320-year-old stones at the centre of spooky folklore have been stolen by bogus council workers in broad daylight.
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley ) said the coping stones, taken from the lintel of Westfield Lane graveyard at Idle some time on Tuesday morning, were part of a ghost story in the town and urged whoever took them to bring them back.
She said: “When we were children we were told if you run around the top of the walls three times at midnight the spirits from the graves would come and get you. It’s folklore and anyone who grew up in Idle will know it.
“The lintel is dated 1690, so the stones have been there for hundreds of years untouched and it’s disgraceful they’ve been taken. People need to leave them alone and respect our history.
“Being as they have been around for years we would like them back.”
Councillor Sunderland said the 12ft stretch of “traditional stone”, which is believed to have been quarried from the Bradford area, will be replaced, but urged anyone with information about the theft to come forward.
It is believed they could have been taken from the Quaker graveyard, which contains about 30 graves, by someone posing as a Council worker in an unmarked white van.
She said: “Someone saw a man with a plain van at the graveyard.
“Council workers will always be in a marked van, so I’d urge anyone who sees anyone taking stone from anywhere who has an unmarked van to contact the police.
“It seems more common that people are taking valuable stone in broad daylight posing as Council workers.”
Witnesses or anyone with information should contact police on 101.