Around 50 sheep have been stolen from a Staffordshire farm, prompting the police to issue an appeal for any witnesses or information.
The sheep were stolen by livestock rustlers from land off Amerton Lane in Stowe-by-Chartley.
The incident happened between Monday July 1 and Tuesday morning.
A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said: “Sheep, including lambs, were reportedly stolen from a field on Amerton Lane in Stowe-by-Chartley.
“A lock had been cut from a gate.
“Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to contact 101, quoting incident number 0080 of 2 July.”
Figures published in April show that livestock worth £2.5m were stolen in 2018 amid an increase in organised large scale animal thefts across the UK.
This crime makes livestock theft the most costly crime for the UK’s farming sector after agricultural vehicles and farm machinery.
The sharp increase in livestock rustling - an 11% rise in cost over two years - has prompted rural insurer NFU Mutual to put farmers and rural communities on alert for criminals.