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Baildon egg poachers caught in the act
A town councillor has caught shocking CCTV images of a would-be egg poacher teaching a child how to steal from a chicken hut in his front garden on a quiet residential street.
Coun Ian Lyons’ prized layers French and Saunders were safe in their hut on Saturday night when a man and a young boy sauntered down Cliffe Avenue, Baildon, following a small terrier dog.
A camera on Coun Lyons’ roof captured clear images of the man staring into the hen hut and then leading the child up the fenced drive and opening a gate into the garden.
As a car approaches, the man ducks down before sneaking over to the coop, opening the door and thrusting in his arm.
But one of Mr Lyons’ plucky birds then pecks and flaps at the raider, sending him reeling backwards.
The little boy runs back down the drive, quickly followed by the man in an obvious flap.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the film, it was like a scene from Chicken Run!” Coun Lyons said.
“But seriously, I was shocked that here was an adult clearly teaching a little boy how to commit a crime.”
He was sitting in his living room while the drama took place at 9.30pm on Saturday night and only checked the CCTV after noticing the fence gate had been opened.
“It’s just totally unacceptable for anyone to be setting that sort of example, and if he had wanted an egg all he had to do was ask,” said Coun Lyons, who gives most of his to neighbours and friends. “Keeping hens is a brilliant thing to do and one reason they are in the front garden is to advertise how easy it is.
“French and Saunders are both Warrens and produce an egg a day.
“They are about two years old and will do that for another year or so, then they die and there’s no worry about funeral costs – into the pot they go.
“I’ve had 200 eggs from them since May and given the average price for a shop-bought egg is 33p it’s a good little earner.
“They are so low-maintenance living on scraps and worms and as a hen only costs a tenner it’s a great investment.”
Coun Lyons said that passers-by have been so impressed that several locals have followed his example. “I’m even thinking of setting up a Facebook page for hen owners,” he said.
He alerted local police to the attempted egg theft. A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said they would be studying the CCTV and asked any witnesses to call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or dial 101.