Above: SAM1 Bird Products was the only unit out the 11 on the warehouse site to be broken in to on June 11. Sam Wildes said: ‘My unit was left in a hell of a mess. The back door was in pieces and all paperwork thrown everywhere. My laptop was on the floor in bits. I’ve still got my stock, thankfully, but it’s the loss of money that has done the damage’


A WELL-KNOWN small seed and merchandise company needs fanciers’ custom to rebuild itself, after thieves raided and ransacked its premises in the early hours.

SAM1 Bird Products, run solely by Sam Wildes, one half of the S. & N. Wildes champion budgerigar partnership, has lost about £8,000 following a break-in at its commercial storage unit in Burton upon Trent, at 3am on June 11. The targeted robbery – no other units nearby were touched – was over in minutes.

CCTV caught a car pulling up to the premises and shining its headlights on the unit’s back door before switching them off. The thieves waited to act until a neighbouring unit’s security sensor light went out.

“They snapped the lock at the back entrance, forced through a second locking door, got in and got out. I run a small business to support my little family; I never thought this would happen to me,” 31-year-old Sam Wildes told Cage & Aviary Birds.

The company expanded in 2017 when Mr Wildes rented the unit to open a shop alongside a workshop.

“I don’t know how this loss is going to affect the business,” he said. “I toyed with the idea of throwing in the towel but have been inundated with kind messages and offers of donations.

“I don’t ever beg for support or custom, but right now this could help me through the next few months. If any fancier needs stock, please come to me.”

Small tools and equipment were also taken in the robbery. No stock is missing.

“Luckily all my stock is branded SAM1 Bird Products, so none of that was touched,” explained Mr Wildes. “I guess you could say I’m predominantly a cash business; a lot of customers pay cash not card.

“The till has gone, some private money, plus 5,000 euros that was to pay my millet provider in France.” 

TWO of Mr Wildes’ fancier friends, both members of Mid Essex BS, have started a fundraising page for SAM1 Bird Products with a target of £2,000. You can donate here.

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