A MAN is calling for help to track down the 'vile' thieves who stole his personalised number plate after catching them in the act on CCTV.

Phil Manning, from Exchange Street in Darwen, heard a banging on his door in the early hours of Saturday morning from a neighbour to tell him his personalised number plate had been stolen.

He had the 'P17HLM' number plate on his white Mercedes CLA since he got the car in August.

He managed to catch the whole incident on CCTV and is now calling for help to catch the culprits.

The 29-year-old is keen to catch the thieves before they go on to commit further, and potentially more severe crimes.

Mr Manning said: "I was absolutely fuming.

"They're just petty thieves, it's vile.

"They've just ripped the whole fitting off.

"I think they've probably got a stolen white Mercedes and then need a number plate for it.

"I was thinking am I going to get a knock on the door saying someone has been run over and they'd have my details for it.

"I always think the worst, if they're willing to do that, then who knows what they would do.

"I was very angry at the time, but it could have been worse, at least it wasn't the car taken."

He has had the CCTV outside his home for around 18 months and has also used it in the past to help police with their enquiries.

He initially installed the cameras after worries a bottle had been thrown out of a car near to his property.

Mr Manning has also been visiting nearby businesses to see if they have any footage of the people responsible driving into the area.

He also paid credit to the police, who he said were round 'within five minutes' after he called them shortly after 12.30am on Saturday.

Police said they are investigating the incident and appealed for anyone who saw anything to come forward.

Contact police on 101 quoting reference LC-20180414-0068.