Replacing stolen York stone pavement slabs has cost Leeds City Council an estimated £50,000 over the last year.
Highways maintenance teams have been out to deal with 250 cases of the stone being stolen from pavements in Leeds in the past 12 months, costing the local authority more than twice than it did the year previous.
Despite an increase in thefts, West Yorkshire Police have seen the number of cases reported drop by a third to just 66 this financial year.
The statistics have prompted the council to urge residents to ensure they report the theft of York stone, which paves much of the older parts of Leeds.
York stone is common in areas such as Harehills, Headingley, Woodhouse, Burley, Armley, Cross Green, Roundhay, Gledhow, Beeston, Pudsey and Chapel Allerton.
Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s executive member for transport and the economy, said: “What might be just a quick illegal profit to them could be really dangerous for pedestrians, if they suddenly trip over missing paving. It’s costing the council – and therefore the city – money it can ill-afford, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult for us to source replacement flags, as we have to reclaim them from elsewhere in Leeds.”
Last month officials at St Saviour’s Church in Richmond Hill found that around £8,000 of historic stone slabs had been taken in several raids on the landmark’s path.
For non-urgent calls contact West Yorkshire Police on 101 or visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/101.