Three men have been charged with stealing valuable paving stones from outside churches.
York stone slabs “worth thousands of pounds” were discovered in Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, and Cheshire, according to police.
In February, Ormskirk Parish Church in Lancashire reported the first “heritage crime.”
The men, from Greater Manchester, were charged with theft and were scheduled to appear before Chester magistrates earlier today.
One of the men was also charged with handling a stolen motor vehicle and driving while disqualified, according to Cheshire Police.
Previously, the force stated that “highly desirable” York stone was valued in the thousands of pounds due to its durability and aesthetic appeal.
Three Greater Manchester suspects were charged after four police forces collaborated on the investigation.
The “fantastic investigation” involved forces from Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Staffordshire, according to a Cheshire police spokesman.