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15 October 2013, 11:13
400 budgies, worth £60,000, have been stolen in Romsey.
Hampshire Police say the 74-year-old victim had been building up the extensive collection of the birds for over 50 years.
They were in a large locked aviary in his back garden in Upton Crescent which had security lighting.
Overnight sometime between 10pm on Sunday 13 October and 4.45am on Monday 14 October the wires to the security lights were cut and the aviary was broken into. The birds were stolen in special transportation cages that belonged to the victim. Only seven birds were left in one cage the thieves left behind.
It's thought the thieves escaped with the birds through a golf course which runs behind the property.
Officers think it is likely more than one person was involved and it would have needed a van or something or a similar size vehicle to take the birds away.
All the bird have rings on their legs with serial numbers on.
Officers are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information about where the budgies might be or thinks they may have been offered some for sale to contact them. They are asked to call PC Kat Smith at Romsey Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.