A gang of thieves have stolen thousands of pounds worth of library books and are trying to sell them using a phone app.
Staff at libraries across Oldham believe about £7,000 worth of reference titles have been taken in two months.
The brazen crooks have taken out library membership under false names to get access to non-fiction books and are suspected of selling them via a specialist app.
In one incident, a woman member of the gang walked out with scores of books hidden in a pram.
One member of staff said: “We think that about four or five people are in the gang. They take out library membership and can do so without having to show any ID.
“They then take out the maximum number of 12 books. They then use self service to deactivate the security device on the books.
“Staff have seen members of the gang checking on the smart phones via an app how much the books are worth, by tapping in the details of the book. “We believe they are selling them via the app.
“We then never see the books again. Others in the gang just steal them. A spokesman for Oldham council said: “We take theft of public property extremely seriously and we have reported these matters to the police. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage as an investigation is on going.”
A spokeswoman for GMP said: “Inquiries are on going and we would urge anyone with information to call us on 101.”