Reward offered after prize birds stolen

A devastated bird owner offered a £5,000 reward today after his prize-winning collection of canaries was stolen from his west Norfolk home.All 105 birds belonging to Malcolm Plumb, including Border, Yorkshire and Fife varieties, were taken between 10.

A devastated bird owner offered a £5,000 reward today after his prize-winning collection of canaries was stolen from his west Norfolk home.

All 105 birds belonging to Malcolm Plumb, including Border, Yorkshire and Fife varieties, were taken between 10.45pm yesterday and 9.45am today.

The canaries were kept in a bird house close to his bungalow in Common Road North, Walton Highway, near Wisbech, and are believed to have been deliberately targeted.

Mr Plumb, 63, had spent about six years painstakingly building up his collection.

“I'm gutted,” he said. “If I don't get them back I shall quit because I'm too old to start all over again. It will finish me.

“It's a complete lifestyle that's gone because of some evil person or persons.”

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Mr Plumb has always had an interest in birds but decided to resume his hobby at a higher level when he took early retirement from the central heating business he ran for 40 years.

As well as giving him enormous pleasure, it has earned him a string of awards for his canaries and a place on the national exhibition team.

“They took a lot of looking after - but it's not a chore,” he said. “The problem is that they are just getting ready to breed.”

The bird house was fully alarmed but the alarm did not go off and Mr Plumb believes it may have been tampered with.

He is offering the £5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft.

Police are investigating, and anyone with information is asked to contact PC Donna Brand of Downham Market police station on 0845 456 4567.