THIEVES have stolen a horse box and expensive saddles in a raid on a village stables.

They broke into the Moss Brook Arena, Lower Green Lane, Astley, between 7pm on Wednesday November 4 and 4.45am the following day, They drove off in a maroon-coloured Bedford horse box, registration H756 SWU, which had a maroon stripe and the name EMMA WRAY down the side.

Also stolen was a brown Devoucoux Chiberta sports saddle and an Amerigo brown leather saddle, both worth more than £2,000 each.

PC Richard Oliver said: "This is very upsetting for the owner of the stables, as well as the riding enthusiasts who use it.

"This was a brazen overnight break-in. They clearly knew what they were looking for.

"The items stolen are specialist and will not be of much use to the wider community. I appeal to anyone who has been offered riding equipment in suspicious circumstances to get in touch.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Wigan police on 0161 856 7329 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.