FIFE CANARIES IN South Yorkshire have been targeted by thieves, who defied CCTV and extensive birdroom security by smashing their way in through the back of a Barnsley birdroom.
Ten Fifes wearing plastic split-rings and two show cages were stolen after thieves had prised off five tongue-and-groove wooden panels from the back of the birdroom, before kicking through hardwood lining boards to gain access.
Two Fifes were left behind, along with a collection of budgerigars.
Seventy-year-old owner and hobbyist Donald Hyde believes he may have disturbed the intruders when he woke up at 4am on March 26.
He explained: “My property backs on to a school, but there’s roughly a 4ft gap between the school’s metal and spiked fencing and my stone wall, and that gap is vastly overgrown with nettles and trees. The intruders must have had some form of steps to make their way from the school grounds across the gap and would have had to lean over to kick through the back of my birdroom.
“They kicked a hole roughly 2ft wide and would have crawled in. The front of my birdroom is so heavily secured – never in my life did I think it possible that thieves would come through the back.” Shelves had lined the birdroom’s back wall that was kicked in and items such as nest-boxes and various birdkeeping equipment were damaged.
Two months previously, about 20 cages of budgerigars lined the back wall but luckily had been moved to a separate enclosure close to the house.
“I dread to think what the damage could have been if the birds were up against that back wall,” said Mr Hyde. “I find it strange that the thieves took 10 Fifes and not the full 12, and ignored the budgerigars. I don’t know if they cherry-picked the birds or whether I did indeed disturb them in the early hours.”
Electrical tools stored in the shed were also taken, and include electric drills, sanders and saws. Mr Hyde added: “Normally I don’t store tools in there, but I was due to repair the birdroom floor.”
CCTV footage of the break-in is currently being investigated.
● Anyone with information about the break-in is asked to contact John Hayward at the National Theft Register on 01869 325 699.