BOLD-AS-BRASS thieves are knocking off scores of door knockers.

Crooks are cashing in on the high price of scrap metal and have stolen dozens of brass knockers and handles from pubs, shops and houses across Thundersley, Benfleet and Rochford.

Sharon Parsons, who works at Desire hair salon, at Tarpots, said staff had been unable to get in after discovering her shop’s door handle had been stolen.

They had to get help from staff at the Rolling Stock shop nearby so they could turn the pin in the door.

She said: “It’s ridiculous. You wonder what else they will take.

“I’ve heard people say you need to chain things down so they don’t get stolen – but in this case they were screwed to the door!”

Mark Reid who has just opened his new business, Reids Property Services, in Hart Road, Thundersley, also had his door handle stolen.

He said: “The first day I got to the office the handles had been nicked.

“I haven’t reported it to the police because it was just a handle, but now it seems everyone has been done.

“If I know of so many people who have been affected, how many there are altogether?”

The handle of nearby Rivals hair salon was stolen on the same night along with other shops along the parade.

An attempt had been made to do the same at Wah Nam takeaway, but it appears the crooks couldn’t get the screws out.

Other people had their door handles stolen from flats at Saxon Court, at Tarpots, Benfleet.

Mr Reid, 33, said: “If you fill a heavy duty rubble bag full of brass it’s worth nearly £100, so it’s worth a lot if they are stealing enough of them.”

The advice is to secure doorhandles with anti-theft screws.

Police have now been given CCTV footage of the suspect from the White Hart pub, in Thundersley, in the hope of tracking down the culprits.

All the knockers and handles are believed to have been stolen on Monday and Tuesday night.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are investigating a number of thefts where brass door handles have been stolen.

“If anyone sees anything suspicious, or anyone tampering with doors, they should contact police on 101.

“We are investigating a number of thefts across the Castle Point area, but we have heard of some in Rochford as well.

“About half a dozen have been reported over the past couple of days in Rochford.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.