Almost 50 rare breed birds worth hundreds of pounds have been stolen from a farm in North Yorkshire following two separate break-ins in one week.
The birds taken from the farm in Sutton Under Whitestonecliffe, near Thirsk, included bufflehead ducks, smew ducks, hooded merganser, red-breast geese, and scaup as wells as ringed teal ducks, versicolor teal and pochard hens.
“I believe that whoever carried out these thefts has knowledge of wildfowl as they targeted the more expensive breeds and appear to know how to handle the birds,” said PC Jon Grainge, of Thirsk safer neighbourhood team.
The first theft took place between 2pm on Sunday 6 March and 2pm on Monday 7 March, and the second between 7pm on Saturday 12 March and 7.30am Sunday 13 March 2011.
Anyone with information about the burglaries is urged to call PC Grainge at Thirsk Police Station