China: Around The Nation

Chinese thieves steal 120 homing pigeons worth 70,000 yuan after third break-in at breeder’s home

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2016, 1:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 November, 2016, 1:28pm

A breeder of homing pigeons has had about 120 of his birds stolen in three separate break-ins in the past four weeks in southwestern China.

The pigeons were worth more than 70,000 yuan (HK$80,000), according to breeder Yang Yuanfu, of Chengdu, Sichuan province, the West China City Daily reported.

Homing in on an age-old tradition, rich Chinese send pigeon prices soaring

Thieves cut through mesh fencing and the wooden side of the dovecot to reach Yang’s pigeons, which he kept on the roof of a residential building near his home, for a third time on Monday after two earlier burglaries in October, the report said.

Yang said he had tried to deter the thieves by changing the locks of the dovecot after the two earlier break-ins.

He said he had once had up to 140 homing pigeons, but now had been left with just over 20.

Zou Shicheng, another breeder living near Yang, said he no longer kept homing pigeons after the loss of 110 of his birds in three separate break-ins.

Changing faces: Liu Changsheng. Beijing pigeon raiser

There were insufficient security guards to keep watch on the area and no surveillance cameras were installed on the roof of the building, a security guard was quoted as saying in the report.

An official at the local homing pigeons association said the thief might be stealing the pigeons to sell for high prices, or to simply to eat them.

Chinese villager given suspended one-year jail sentence after eating protected Eurasian sparrowhawk

Top homing pigeons,which are given rigorous training by breeders, can attract high prices when offered for sale.

A homing pigeon bred in Chengdu was once sold for 970,000 yuan, the report said.