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Pensioner's shock after ten hens stolen from Rishton allotment

Robert Atkinson said it is 'devastating and heartbreaking'

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Robert Atkinson

A pensioner has spoken of his shock and devastation after thieves stole ten hens from his allotment.

Robert Atkinson said he ‘couldn’t believe it’ when he discovered nine brown and one white hen had been pinched from his secure allotment off Spring Street in Rishton.

The theft happened sometime between midnight and 1am on Wednesday, August 29, and was captured on CCTV.

Retired upholsterer Robert said he cannot understand why anyone would steal his beloved hens.

He told the Observer: “I just couldn’t believe it when I found out what happened. It’s devastating and heartbreaking.

“I’ve never had anything like this before and I could never imagine anyone stealing my hens.

“I didn’t even both putting any locks on the cabin because you just never think this would happen.

“When I got down there in the morning I saw the cabin door open and thought that was strange.

“When I counted the hens I realised there were only 11 out of 21 left. It’s just so unusual.”

Thieves steal ten hens from Robert Atkinson's allotment in Rishton

The grandfather-of-two has owned the allotment for more than a decade and also keeps pheasants, pigeons and rabbits.

The offenders are believed to have pulled away chicken netting at the back of the allotment and then climbed into the allotment.

The hens, aged between eight and 12 months old, were stolen and CCTV has been passed to police for examination.

Robert, who has lived in Rishton for 30 years, said: “They didn’t take all of them. They only took ten out of the 21 in the cabin.

“You can see someone coming in and walking away with plastic bags with the birds obviously inside them.

Robert Atkinson's allotment in Rishton

“We are not sure if it was just one person or two. To me it looks like there were two different people but my wife thinks it’s only one as they have similar clothes on.

“They seemed to know what they were going for. They just went for the hens and left.

“They are just laying birds. You can eat them but you wouldn’t get much meat off them. They are specifically bred for laying.”

Lancashire Police said the incident was reported to them at 7.30am on August 29 and an no arrests have been made.

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Anyone with information call 101 quoting crime reference ED1819988.