Turkey thieves strike at Broadclyst Community Farm

Turkey Image copyright Justin Sullivan/Getty
Image caption The stolen turkeys had already been reserved for Christmas by locals

Turkey thieves smashed their way into a pen and stole six Christmas birds, leaving a trail of blood and feathers behind them.

Neighbours heard screeching as Broadclyst Community Farm in Devon was targeted at 04:00 GMT on Saturday.

Jon Smye, who runs the farm, said the turkeys were killed first, then stolen.

"These birds are between 15 and 20kg each, and they're very awkward to carry - there's no way they were taken alive," he said.

The 59-year-old said the door to the pen was "smashed off its hinges".

"There's no one on site overnight, but our nearest neighbour heard screeching around 04:00 - they said they'd never heard anything like it," he added.

The turkeys - worth about £500 - had been raised at the farm since May.

They had all been reserved by local residents and were about to be killed.

"It's not about economic gain, it's about educating people about rural skills and giving vulnerable people a chance to do these things," Mr Smye said.

"It's not going to stop us doing things because we're determined, but we're going to have to up our security somehow."

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