Family's despair as double duck theft takes total to unlucky 13


By Martin Graham

CRUEL thieves have stolen rare birds from a family for a second time within the space of a fortnight.

Lavinia Thornley, 39, lost eight rare Khaki Campbell ducks to raiders two weeks ago.

The ducks were bought as eggs and hand reared by Lavinia’s 13-year-old son Stewart.

Now the family, from Bilston in Midlothian, have been robbed again, this time losing five Khaki Campbell ducklings.

“A terrible feeling”

Lavinia said: “I had gone away for a couple of days to take a break from work, my first break in a long time.

“My son Kevin is 20, and he is more than capable of looking after the place on his own.

“He went to do a shift at the local Co-op in Loanhead, and when he got back the pen was empty.

“I feel like we are being watched, it is a terrible feeling to be targeted this way.

“My son only got two hours sleep last night because he is so upset about the ducks being stolen.

“We have contacted a security firm to see about getting CCTV cameras fitted and it may cost up to £800.

“Half the reason we moved to this smallholding was so that we would feel safe and so that my son Stewart would have a safe environment to live in.

“This will affect my son’s independence, I won’t feel confident in letting him out on his own.”

Police appeal

Lavinia, who runs a pet care business called Top 2 Tail, moved to the smallholding last October because she needed more space.

The Khaki Campbell breed was specially developed for their high level of egg production, laying an average of 300 eggs per year.

The first batch ducks were very much part of the family and had even been given suitable names: Charlie Drake, Donald, Daisy, Jemima, Sarah, Tenor, Arthur and Rocky.

The latest group to be stolen were only 18 weeks old, and were too young for their gender to be determined, so they had not been named.

With the mature birds valued at £50 each, the thieves seemed to know what they were looking for, as they only took the Khaki Campbell birds each time and left other animals untouched.

A police spokesman said: “We suspect that these ducks have been stolen for sale, and we are appealing for any information that can help reunite them with their owner.

“Anyone who has been offered the ducks for sale, or who has any information that can help lead to their recovery, should get in touch immediately.”