Stolen sheep found after two-week police hunt

A flock of sheep stolen from a field in Leicestershire have been found two weeks later after police from two counties joined forces to track them down.

The North Country Mule sheep, worth £4500, were stolen from land near the village of Catthorpe, near Lutterworth.

Police believe that several vehicles were used because of the numerous tyre tracks found in the field.

The sheep appeared to have been driven off to a nearby M1 motorway intersection – and it was from there that the police launched their hunt.

Officers from Northamptonshire and Leicestershire combed fields in different directions and finally located the sheep 20 miles away in a field at Long Buckby, Northamptonshire. Their ear tags had been removed.

Delighted farmer, Peter Cleaver, praised the police action: “We’re very grateful for the safe return of our flock and would like to thank the police for their efforts,” he said. “The ewes are for breeding and we had only had them for about a month.”

Two men, aged 44 and 22, have been arrested and released on bail on suspicion of theft, pending further enquiries.

A police spokesman said: “These thieves were organised and it is likely that the sheep were stolen to order in the night-time raid.”