An award-winning bird fancier has spoken of his heartache after thieves stole some of his prize winning birds.
John Bell, from Maryport, has travelled the country with his show birds and won a host of top awards.
However, last night twenty of his best canaries were taken, and he believes they were stolen to order.
Kenny Toal has this report:
79-year-old John Bell was left devastated after around 20 of his prize-winning canaries were stolen from his shed in Dearham, Maryport, this morning (18th March).
A 79-year-old man has been left 'devastated' after 20 of his prize winning canaries were stolen form his shed near Maryport.
The theft happened in the early hours of this morning (18th March), from a shed on Maryport Road in Dearham.
John Bell is well known in the area for showing his birds across the country.
The birds are a mixture of Gloucester canaries with green and yellow colours, and among the group were a bright orange 'red factor', one cinnamon hen and two brown and orange 'mules'.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Workington Police Station by calling 101 or alternatively contact crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
– PC Matt Brannan, Cumbria Police
“This is a particularly heartless crime where a thief or thieves have deliberately targeted the shed for specific birds.
"There’s no doubt that the animals will have been distressed during the crime and their owner has been left upset that his prize winning birds have been taken.
“Stealing twenty birds without making a noise will have been extremely difficult – if not impossible –so it is likely that local residents may have heard a disturbance.
“We are determined to catch the thieves responsible and trace the distinctive birds so we can reunite them with their owner.