Fylde villagers are furious after anti-fracking signs were removed from outside homes.
Residents of Roseacre, one of the two sites where energy company Cuadrilla want to test frack for underground gas, say they believe the signs have been stolen.
Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident which is thought to have occurred at 2am on Monday.
The villagers say they are not pointing the finger at anyone but believe that whoever did it would have had to have tools to remove some of the sings and therefore had planned the thefts.
Local councillors said people in the village were left unnerved and intimidated by the actions. Fylde Councillor Heather Speak said: “It has made people very angry and we will replace these signs. We have even had other people in the village who did not have signs come to us and say they will put up sings because of this.
“It is quite unnerving to think that people have gone to such lengths, trespass and pinch the signs.
“My sign was high up on a frame and they would have had to unbolt it to take it away, so it was not just a casual prank.
“Everybody here is so fed up. We feel like we are living in a war zone and it is absolutely not our fault.
“Some people in the community are not opposed to fracking of course and some have said the sings were untidy but I would rather look at these carefully made signs than a 53 m high fracking rig and huge trucks on our narrow lanes.”
Parish councillor Jacqeline Sylvestor said: “These signs were all hand made and have become quite a feature of the village. I heard a banging noise at around 2am on Monday morning and a vehicle pulling away outside my home.
“The ground was soaked because of the heavy rains so whoever did it must have been incredibly wet. It has to be someone with a vested interest to bother. It is very intimidating.” Diane Hogarth, from Roseacre Wood, said: “Roseacre people are fighting to save our rural community.
“The stolen signs represented the concerns we have about the effect of fracking on our children and elderly residents as well as on our rural environment. This theft goes totally against the peaceful ethos of our community. Residents are sad and disappointed at this small-minded and despicable act.”
A police spokesman said: “We have received a complaint about theft of anti-fracking signs and are investigating.
“Our neighbourhood team has been out to talk to residents.”