A police investigation has been launched after 178 pigs were stolen from a farm overnight during a ’professional raid’.
Police were called to a farm in Frodsham, Cheshire, to reports of a burglary shortly after 7:30am on Monday.
Officers attended and found thieves had forced entry into a pig farm, using bolt cutters to gain access to the shed.
Once inside the building the suspects loaded 178 pigs into large vehicle, possible a professional stock carrier, before fleeing the scene.
The incident is believed to have happened sometime between 6.00pm on September 10 and 7.00am on Monday, September 11.
Farmer Ceri Brimfield posted an appeal for information on social media.
It read: "The site was subject to a professional raid – bolt cutters were used to gain access to the shed and loading bay and what is thought to be an articulated lorry - possibly cattle/sheep truck - used to take the pigs.
"The thieves knew exactly what they were looking for and took the biggest pigs from the batch.
"The police are involved and have been on site but clearly the urgency now is trying to identify where the pigs have gone so that we may be able to catch those responsible."
Detective Constable Iestyn Lewis-Jones said: “We treat all reports of rural crime extremely seriously and are committed to doing everything we can to make our rural communities safer.
“Investigations in relation to this incident are currently ongoing and we are following a number a number of lines of enquiry; early indications suggest this incident may have been a targeted burglary.
“As part of the investigation I’m keen to hear from anyone in the local area who believes they may have witnessed anything suspicious on the night this incident occurred.
“I’d also like to urge other farmers in the local are to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately by contacting us on 101.”