A PENSIONER who hand-reared 12 budgerigars from birth has been left heart-broken after they were stolen from his aviary.
Ted Pringle, 78, from Lime Tree Avenue, Crewe, has cared for the adult birds for six years.
But he woke on Monday to find the door of the shed open and the birds missing.
Now he fears the baby budgies which were being cared for by their stolen mother's will all die.
He said: 'I have had the birds for ages and they are my life. I don't go out much and don't drink or smoke or socialise much. I just spend as much time as I can looking after them.
'I have never hurt anyone in my life. I just sit in the front garden near to the road and watch the world go by.
'I locked the shed and went to bed and got up and found the door open and the birds gone. I fed them every day and we kept each other company.'
Mr Pringle, who worked as a courier with a travel company until four years ago, now hopes someone can help him find his birds.
He added: 'I just cannot believe someone would want do something like this. I really can't under-stand it.
'It is so sad that it has come to this. I am devastated this has happened. They were my only form of enjoyment.'
A Cheshire Police spokesman said: 'We can confirm that we are investigating the incident and enquires are on going.'
Anyone with information can call reporter Ben Jervis on 01270 502433.