HEARTLESS thieves have stolen a postbox topper created by a much-loved woman in Leigh.

Leigh resident Linda Catling is well-known for her handmade creative postbox hats, along Marine Parade, in Leigh.

However, she has been left disappointed after finding her sentimental Valentine’s Day topper had been stolen.

Linda believes equipment must have been used to take it as she had chained and padlocked it to prevent it from being taken due to issues in the past.

She said: “A friend had asked if I had removed it yesterday as up until then I didn’t realise it was missing.

“I now know it was last seen at 4pm on Wednesday and was gone by 6pm.

“I am so disappointed it has been stolen. It is a shame because this particular topper has some sentimental value to it.

“I first made it four years ago and spoke about it on TV during lockdown. I have used the same base each year with a slight variation.

“They are very well secured and not easy to remove. It was chained and padlocked so they would have needed equipment to get it off.”

Linda is partially sighted after waking up with half of her sight missing during the beginning of Covid and lockdown.

She decided to make a hat for the postbox local to her, and the rest was history.

Linda has since made more than 60 toppers including themes around Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Remembrance Day, cancer awareness, and the World Cup.

She added: “In the past I have managed to get them back, so let’s hope this one is returned.

“But it is not going to deter me, I love making them and there is a lot of support from the community.

“I thank them all for that. I am already planning future one and March will be to commemorate the RNLI 200-year anniversary.

“And a message to the person who took the Valentine’s topper, please return it for everyone’s enjoyment.”