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Old Hunstanton pensioner 'heartbroken' after thieves steal birds from aviary

An 84-year-old has been left “heartbroken and concerned” after thieves broke into his garden and stole his 20 birds.

Great-granddad Brian Smith, of Old Hunstanton, is heartbroken over Sunday night’s burglary, when thieves broke into his aviary and stole over 20 finches and canaries as well as three cages.

Mr Smith, who has been keeping birds for nearly five years, says he is also concerned someone has been onto his property without his permission.

Brian Smith is heartbroken over Sunday night's break in. (2511343)
Brian Smith is heartbroken over Sunday night's break in. (2511343)

He said: “Keeping birds is my hobby, it was a daily hobby. I am heartbroken and have been put off getting anymore birds.

“They broke into my aviary, but I am also concerned someone has been onto my premises.”

One of his family members says Mr Smith is partially sighted and there many have also been baby birds among the 20 stolen.

They said: “Several people have come forward to offer him some of their birds.

“He checks on the birds last thing at night and despite him being 84-years-old, partially sighted and having survived cancertwo years ago, he wanted something to tend to.

“He built the aviary himself and they were his life. This is what is so tragic. It is very upsetting.”

The family has taken to social media to share news about Mr Smith’s missing birds in an attempt to reunite them with their owner.

And Rounce & Evans Property Management, based in Lynn’s Innovation Centre, is issuing a £300 reward to the person who can lead to the safe return of the stolen birds.

On Facebook, a spokesman said: “As many of you have seen, a gentleman had his birds stolen from his aviary in Old Hunstanton.

“The gentleman is one of our staff’s grandfathers and those birds were his pride and joy.

“If anyone has information that leads to the safe return of the birds we will pay them £300.

“We are not interested in why, where or who, we just want to see the safe return of all the birds.

“Someone knows where these birds are and we want them back in their aviary where they belong.”

A spokeman from Norfolk Police says the crime occurred around 8.30pm on Sunday, when thieves gained entry to Mr Smith’s garden and stole some 20 birds as well as three cages. The investigation is ongoing.

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