Gang of thieves steal pregnant alpaca from Toft farm in Rugby

Toft Alpacas
Toft Alpacas

A gang of thieves stole a pregnant alpaca that was still feeding her young from Toft Alpacas in Rugby.

It is believed two of the thieves created a distraction with a dog while a third and possibly fourth member of the gang led the female alpaca away from the farm in Dunchurch.

The alpaca is three years old and had been feeding her young in the field. The cria is now suffering without its mother.

The theft occurred this week in broad daylight.

Rob and Shirley Bettinson, from Toft Alpacas, said: “After almost 20 years in the alpaca business, it saddens us to inform you that we have had an alpaca stolen from our farm this week.

“We believe at least three people were involved in the robbery. This was not an opportunistic event but took place in broad daylight while we were active on the farm.

“Indeed we believe, although we cannot prove it conclusively, that we had a interchange with two of the thieves during the robbery. Two of them with a dog on a lead created a very deliberate distraction whilst a third and possibly a fourth member of the group walked the alpaca off farm.

“This was a very professional, targeted theft by people who knew what they wanted, knew how to handle alpacas and knew how to execute such an audacious robbery under our noses so please be vigilant on your own holdings.

“This alpaca is a young three-year-old, mid fawn, much improved female. She was taken from a paddock in the centre of our farm.

“We believe she was deliberately chosen and possibly stolen to order. The thieves who know their way around alpacas must have put a halter on this girl and walked her a long way to their transport. They thought nothing of leaving the cria she was feeding in the field.

“Naturally the cria is suffering with the sudden departure of his mother but by chance he was one of the older cria and is eating hard feed and we are monitoring him carefully.”

The stolen alpaca left with a large flag tag in its left ear, tag number TOF 308.

If the offenders have removed the tag there will be a hole where it was or a replacement tag may have been fitted.

She has a Microchip behind her left ear No 982009106226458.

The alpaca is pregnant for next season.

Police are investigating the theft.

Rob and Shirley added: “We would ask that all alpaca owners be vigilant. If anyone is offered a good looking improved mid fawn three-year-old female alpaca in the coming weeks from an unknown source, or under suspicious circumstances, please carefully check out the provenance of the alpaca and insist on checking the microchip identifier.

“Should you suspect that this might be our girl, please inform us immediately.”

Call 01788 810626 with any information.