Above: empty cages and evidence of forced entry. The theft of 31 Fifes has left the elderly victim in shock. His daughter said: ‘We’re devastated for him. He is very disheartened.’

THE DAUGHTER OF an elderly pensioner, who had his Fife canary stud stolen last month, has praised members of the wider fancy for their support.

During the early hours of February 27, 31 exhibition-quality Fifes of various colours were taken from a bird shed in Wickford, Essex, belonging to an 85-year-old canary breeder. The family has asked to remain anonymous in fear of a repeated attack by thieves.

Wheelbarrow tracks in the snow revealed how the intruders made their entry, having climbed over a locked garden gate to access the shed. The shed door, which had two padlocks, had been prised open with a crowbar. No other damage was carried out inside the bird shed.

The victim’s daughter told Cage & Aviary Birds that the wheelbarrow did not belong to her father, and so the thieves had purposely targeted the birds.

She said: “It hurts that someone has hurt my Dad like this. Especially as we think it is someone who knows of Dad and his birds.

“I posted the details on social media straight away and I’ve had a huge amount of shares. People, not just fanciers, have offered their support – even people we don’t know have made contact.

“Everyone from the different branches of the hobby seem absolutely disgusted by what’s happened.”

Offers of birds have been greatly appreciated by the family, however, the victim is undecided if he will continue in the hobby.

The stud had been a life-long hobby of the elderly gentleman, who is a member of Basildon CBS and a regular face at his local CBS shows.

His daughter continued: “The sad thing is that Dad only said a few weeks ago that he’s got the Fife stud where he wanted it and was excited to start pairing up. The theft has hit us hard as a family. Although he is in good health, the birds get him up and outside. The birds may not mean much to someone else but to Dad they were everything.”

Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact John Hayward at the National Theft Register on 01869 325 699.

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