AN allotment holder has been left devastated after two of his show pigeons were stolen.
Robert Darby visited his plot to discover his shed doors open and two of his ornate birds had been snatched.
It is the latest in a long line of incidents at the 50-year-old’s allotment, which has seen his garden targetted about 30 times in a decade and 60 pigeons stolen.
Married factory worker Robert, who lives in Peterlee and is a dad-of-two, said: “This has been happening for years.”
He left his allotment at around 6.30pm on Tuesday, October 7 and when he returned around 7.45am the next day he discovered the break-in.
“The allotment gates were partly open, all the shed doors were open and one pigeon was flying about,” he said.
He said the majority of allotment holders have left the site, off Church Street, in Station Town, due to all the vandalism and thefts.
His stolen birds, known as tumbler pigeons, were ornamental and brown and white in colour.
Although he didn’t take them to shows, he said he got them because he likes their appearance.
“I have had about 60 pigeons stolen in the last decade, and a lot of them have been racing pigeons.
“I’m angry, but you’ve just got to get on with it.”
He said he believes the birds, which have large feathers on their feet, may have been sold on.
Robert has been involved with the plot since he was 10, as it belonged to his grandfather, James Darby from 1957 onwards.
Peterlee Police are investigating the theft of the birds and anyone with information should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.