Thieves use crowbars and disc cutters in Christmas burglary at Yorkshire wildlife site

RSPB Fairburn Ings in Castleford was targeted by the thieves on the night of December 28.
RSPB Fairburn Ings in Castleford was targeted by the thieves on the night of December 28.
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Thieves used crowbars and disc cutters to break into a popular Yorkshire wildlife site over Christmas.

RSPB Fairburn Ings in Castleford was targeted by the thieves on the night of December 28.

CCTV from the site captured the group breaking into the site using "sophisticated" equipment including crowbars and disc cutters, but unfortunately it was too dark to identify any of the culprits.

Once inside they stole several laptops, a TV and damaged several outbuildings and the electronic gates to the site.

Visitor Operation Manager Jan Elsworth said: As a charity we work hard to put our money into the conservation and management of the sites in our care and this incident is not only robbing the organisation but the wildlife we have on site.

"Our staff work really hard and only had one day off for Christmas so when something like this happens it really affects everyone.

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"We don't know the exact value of what it is going to cost to replace the items stolen and repair the damage, but last time the gate was broken it cost around £2,500 to fix and this is something we could really do without.

"Despite this, it makes me feel more determined to carry on with the good work we are doing."

Miss Elsworth also praised West Yorkshire Police for their response to the burglary.

"Despite it being Christmas, they sent someone straight away and helped us retrieve the CCTV footage," she said.

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"Thankfully, the wildlife here has been fantastic.

"We have had all the Starling murmurations with 50,000 birds and we have also had regular sightings of the kingfisher."

Anyone with information about the break in is urged to contact West Yorkshire Police quoting crime reference number 131906628664.