A pensioner has spoken of his joy after two beloved goats he owned which were taken in a burglary at his allotment showed up safe and well.
We reported yesterday how Fred Rylance was left devastated when goats Lottie and Gypsy were taken from his East Boldon site sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
The break-in, at Mundles Lane, behind St George’s Church, also saw more than 20 locks smashed and six ducks as well as hens were also nabbed in the raid.
Thankfully however, the animals have been found unharmed and are back at Mr Rylance’s allotment, which he hopes to repair in time.
“I’m in raptures that they’ve turned up,” said Mr Rylance, 72, a retired milkman.
“Someone mentioned that a couple of goats had been seen and they turned up at Red House estate so I’ve been able to get them.
“They were just running about and both are fine.
“I’m over the moon and so happy because I thought they might have gone forever.
“I’m a bit of a softy when it comes to animals.
“I’ve had animals take before like chickens and hens but the goats are different.
Mr Rylance discovered the damage on Wednesday morning after he had visited his plot the evening before, with the police alerted to the incident.
The cost of the repairs and replacing the animals could be hundreds of pounds he has estimated.
Despite keeping animals and developing his allotment site for decades, Mr Rylance had said this latest setback has deterred him keeping it going in future.
“We still don’t know how whoever it is broke in got through, but hopefully we’ll find out who’s done this,” said Mr Rylands.
“I’m just glad I’ve got the goats back but there is still a lot of damage there and the place needs sorting out.”
He also expressed his thanks to those who have given him support since news of the theft emerged.
“I’ve got to say thanks to the Gazette for doing the story in the first place and all the people who’ve said they were shocked by what happened,” he said.
“It means a lot to me.”
Officers from Northumbria Police are still hoping to track down those responsible for the theft and damage which was carried out earlier this week.
The force is asking anyone who may have seen anything or has information that could help their enquiry to contact them on 101 quoting log 1263 130617.