Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
Thieves steal at least 25 canaries from popular Paglesham pub's aviary
6:10pm Monday 16th July 2012 in Southend
Thieves have stolen at least 25 canaries from an aviary outside a popular pub.
Police believe bolt croppers may have been used to cut the entrance to the aviary at the Plough & Sail, in Paglesham overnight on Saturday, July 8.
The birds had been lovingly hand-reared by landlord Mark Oliver so visitors could enjoy them. They had become a popular fixture with children, but only six were left behind following the break-in.
One bird died because it was too young to survive without its mother which was taken.
Mr Oliver said: “It’s a bit of a shame. We’ve had an aviary for years at the pub that my dad used to look after and now I do.
“We’ve had a lot of birds we’ve reared ourselves. People used to like coming over with their kids and having a look at the aviary. It was very well stocked.”
There are about six birds left and the pub plans to re-stock the aviary.
The local community have been left shocked.
Mr Oliver added: “Things just don’t happen like that out here, so I think they were stolen to order.
“It would be sad if they have been stolen and are now perhaps in a small cage, because they had a good sized aviary.”
Investigating officer PC Diane Nash, of Rayleigh police, said: “The owner is very upset as he hand-reared the birds. They are quite tame, used to being very well cared for and having lots of room to fly about.
“He told me that if they were set free they would just die in the wild as they are not able to fend for themselves.”
Police want to speak to anyone who may have noticed anything suspicious, or who is offered the birds for sale.
PC Nash added: “Paglesham is a very small close-knit community with very little crime. The pub is the hub of the village and the local people are very concerned, so I would urge anyone with information to contact me.”
Anyone with information, should call Rochford police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.