A warning has gone out after a man was caught on camera appearing to be balancing on top of a van to steal from gardens.

The alleged thieves were reported to have been seen behind Arnold Street and behind Hughes Street in the Crompton area of Bolton in recent weeks.

Footage of the alleged thieves in action has now been circulated on social media and local residents are concerned that they may be taking advantage of people being out of their homes during the hot weather to target their back gardens.

Cllr Rabiya Jiva, who represents the area on Bolton Council, said: “I just want to warn residents that we have opportunist thieves around.

“They seem to be deploying the same tactic, obviously we know you shouldn’t have to but please, put your garden furniture, your barbecues away.

“Again, you shouldn’t have to but ultimately we’ve got these thieves around taking advantage of people being away.”

The suspected thieves appear to be using a van to target people's gardens

The CCTV footage appears to show a man balancing on top of a white van as it drives slowly down behind Arnold Street.

Further footage then seems to show him climbing into people’s gardens with the help of another man who was driving the van.

In response, Cllr Jiva, who sits on Bolton Council’s Stronger Communities committee which handles public safety in the borough said that people needed to remain vigilant.

She also said that people should be aware that the extremely warm weather could be playing a part in creating opportunities for thieves.

She said: “They know in the hot weather people will be out enjoying themselves, they’ll be going on days out, they’ll be going on days to the beach.

“So clearly they’re counting on people not being at home.”

As such she advised people to stay alert and to call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency if they are concerned.

She also advised people to be mindful of people selling items like garden furniture or barbecue equipment door-to-door, especially if it appeared to be suspiciously cheap.

Greater Manchester Police have been approached for comment.