Metal dealer appeal after Bury Mayor's gold chains stolen

Mayor of Bury Image copyright Bury Council
Image caption Mayor Michelle Wiseman had been at an event to commemorate those who died in World War Two

Scrap metal dealers are being asked to help police catch two men who stole the ceremonial chains of the mayor and mayoress of Bury, Greater Manchester.

A robber hit the mayor's driver with a hammer as he loaded a briefcase containing the chains into the mayoral car in Radcliffe on 30 October.

He then jumped into a waiting green Volkswagen Polo in the town's Stand Lane area, which then drove off.

Police fear the chains, worth about £200,000, may be sold or melted down.

The mayor's driver suffered a fractured shoulder blade during the theft. No arrests have been made since the incident.

The mayor, Councillor Michelle Wiseman, and her daughter Danielle, who is serving as mayoress, had been attending a service of remembrance on the day of the theft.

The mayor's chain was given by Queen Victoria in 1877 with the mayoress's chain a gift to mark the monarch's Diamond Jubilee 20 years later.

Det Con Martin Brown said: "It has been four months since these chains, which are of enormous historical and monetary value, were stolen during a violent robbery.

"Although the scrap metal is dwarfed by the historical significance and heritage of these chains, the culprits will only profit from this theft by selling the chains on the black market or by melting them down.

"I would appeal to metal dealers, not just in Bury but throughout Manchester, to be vigilant and if you come into contact with anyone offering you these chains then please do the right thing and call us."

Image copyright Bury Council
Image caption The mayoress's chain (right) was given to the borough to mark Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee

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