Published Date: 20 October 2008 (By ANNA SMITH)
THOUSANDS of pounds worth of pet fish have been stolen from a garden pond in North-East England.Thieves have taken 13 fish from a garden in Mile Road, Widdrington Station, near Morpeth in what is believed to have been two raids. The haul includes valuable koi carp and other varieties up to 28 inches in length, worth a total of £5,000, but the owner says the financial cost is nothing to losing his beloved pets.
"I have had some of those fish for 15 years. It's sickening," he said. "There were some massive ones, but it is not the value I'm bothered about. Everyone who came to my house loved them. They used to come to the top of the water and you could stroke them so they were really like pets. It's very upsetting."
The man, who does not wish to be named, is bewildered as to how the fish were taken as only close friends and family knew he kept them. And he believes the thieves made two visits to capture them all, taking the most expensive fish first, before returning days later for the others.
"The way they were stolen is a bit baffling," he said. "I didn't twig at the time, but I found some large fish scales outside. I went to feed the fish and they seemed quiet and scared, as though something had happened. When I went back to feed them again a few days later they were gone. I think these people must have taken the really big one, the most expensive one, first as they left scales all over the place. There was massive scale-loss so whether the fish is still alive I don't know.
The second time, I think they took a plastic bin of mine to take them away. I've had enough with this now. I'm not going to get any more fish."
The owner has offered a £50 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft.
Police are investigating the crime, which took place sometime between 10am on Friday, October 3, and 7am on Sunday, October 5.
Anyone with information, or who has been offered koi carp in suspicious circumstances, is asked to contact officers on 03456 043043, ext 61126.
You can deter thieves by looking at our Pond Safety page or by installing a CCTV system - contact us for details