BURGLARS have stolen the ceremonial chains belonging to the Mayor and Mayoress of Pateley Bridge.
The offenders broke into Coun Chris Henderson’s home overnight on Monday, reaching through the letter box to take the keys and unlock the door.
As well as the mayor and mayoress’s regalia, the burglars took some personal possessions belonging to Coun Henderson and his wife, who were in the house at the time. They then took the keys to a red Honda Civic, which they made off in.
Coun Henderson said: “Thankfully neither of us are hurt. It’s only material things, but I feel particularly sad about the chains.
“They’re not much use to anybody unless they sell it for melting down. I hope they would have a pang of guilt and leave them somewhere.”
He said the chains were insured and would be replaced if they were not recovered, but it could take some time for that to happen.
“I would like to think that we have a chain in place for the new mayor on May 3,” he added.
Police are now appealing for information about the burglars, who are believed to have approached the house from the directino of Springfield Close.
PC Bill Hickson, of Pateley Bridge Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “The victims in this case have had a number of valuable items stolen from them, however, the theft of the mayoral regalia has caused them the most distress.
“The regalia are obviously very distinctive items and I would urge the public to keep an eye out for them. They may have been disposed of as they would be difficult to sell on, however, if you are offered the items for sale, please contact the police or Crimestoppers.
“I would also appeal for anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the area at the time of the incident, or has any other information that could help the police with their enquiries, to get in touch.”
Officers are also investigating two other burglaries which took place around the same time in the area.
On Monday night, a black and red Yamaha quad bike was taken from a shed in Bouthwaite. The night before, a garage in Stean, near How Stean Gorge, was targeted and a bicycle and a fridge taken. Around that time a white van was seen in a nearby farmyard and reported to police, who would like to hear from anyone else who saw it in the area.
Anyone with information about any of the three burglaries should contact PC Hickson on 0845 6060247, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.