UPWOOD: Thieves steal 200 pheasants

THIEVES have stolen 200 pheasants from Rolts Wood, in Upwood. The poaching occurred sometime between January 9 - 16. The pheasants were free running, and it is believed that they were poached by offenders taking part in what is known as lamping - shoot

THIEVES have stolen 200 pheasants from Rolts Wood, in Upwood.

The poaching occurred sometime between January 9 - 16. The pheasants were free running, and it is believed that they were poached by offenders taking part in what is known as 'lamping' - shooting animals by the light of high-powered torches. The offenders are likely to have used rifles to kill the birds before collecting them to sell for meat.

The offence took place only 100 metres from the main road so passers by may have seen the torchlight through the trees, or heard the gunshots. Police are appealing for information.

The cost of replacing the pheasants could be as much as �1,200, although police say the thieves are likely to sell the birds for significantly less than this in order to make a quick profit.

Sergeant Chris Balmer from the Rural Community Action Team said: "You may be offered meat in a deal that seems 'too good to be true' - if this happens, ask where it came from. A legitimate butcher or gamekeeper will be more than happy to tell you. If you are suspicious, don't take up the offer and report the matter to the police.

"We would also ask the public to look out for all kinds of poaching offences, which are a persistent issue in a rural county like Cambridgeshire. Please be particularly vigilant if you are driving on rural roads at night, as this is when you are most likely to see unexplained torch lights in fields or wooded areas, which could be a sign of poaching. You may also see vehicles parked at the side of the road for no obvious reason, while the offenders are shooting nearby. However, if you do see this sort of suspicious activity at night, you should be aware that poachers use powerful firearms so always call the police rather than approaching them yourself."

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INFORMATION: Anyone with any information on this crime, or any poaching offences, should contact Chris Balmer on 0345 456 456 4, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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