Devon farm steps up security after thieves strike again

A Devon farmer has had his turkey flock stolen - for the second time this year.

Ian Johnson, who runs Beech Tree Paddocks farm at Buckland, Newton Abbot, said he could not afford to re-stock his flock in time for Christmas.

The farmer, who has now invested in 24-hour security to protect other breeds, estimates the thefts have cost him thousands of pounds in lost revenue.

In July 150 turkeys were stolen from their pen and on Sunday a further 67 replacements were stolen from a stable.

'So angry'

Mr Johnson said: "I am so angry that thieves have struck a second time but I refuse to be beaten.

"I bought the turkeys when they were day-old chicks and have spent time and money rearing them.

"I can't afford to buy any more replacements of the same age and if I buy them young again they won't be ready in time for Christmas."

Mr Johnson believes that the thefts were carried out by a gang because he claims it would take too long for one person to have stolen all the turkeys, which are black and white.

Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating the thefts and said a leaking vehicle may have been used to transport the birds because of a large amount of oil found at the scene.

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