Police reunite stolen birds with South Shields owner

Tom Fry and Pc Steve Chappell
Tom Fry and Pc Steve Chappell

A pensioner says he is “over the moon” after some of his pigeons which were stolen from the garden of his South Shields home have been recovered by police.

Tom Fry was on the verge of giving up his hobby after he discovered his cree had been ransacked by thieves and 12 of his birds taken.

I was going to give it up. I wasn’t going to get any more birds.

One later returned of its own accord and now four more were recovered by officers following a tip off and a search of a property in South Shields.

The Birmingham Roller pigeons, worth £25 each, were the product of years of breeding the birds by the 76-year-old who has kept pigeons since the age of 10.

Police contacted Mr Fry, yesterday, lunchtime following the discovery.

A 33 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary.

Yesterday afternoon, Pc Steve Chappell visited Mr Fry to return the recovered birds.

Mr Fry, from King George Road said: “The pigeons were locked in little cages in a room.

“We now have five out of the 12 that were taken back and I am over the moon.

“I was going to give it up. I wasn’t going to get any more birds.

“It was such a surprise when the police called me. We know someone has been arrested.”

The cree was broken into sometime overnight on Sunday into the earlt hours of Monday morning. It had been smashed open by thieves.

It is thought a screwdriver found near to the cree had been used to break the lock.

Nothing else was taken from the garden or damaged.

It is the second time during his time of breeding birthds Mr Fry has had his pigeons stolen. The last time was 35 years ago.

With the help of the Gazette the birds were eventually returned to him.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “A 33 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of burglary other than dwelling.”

Anyone with information to contact them on 101, Callers are asked to quote reference 286 050218 or to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.