Published: 10:01, 28 March 2020
| Updated: 16:47, 28 March 2020
Hen owners are being urged to be extra vigilant as chicken thefts escalate amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to egg shortages in the supermarkets, devious thieves are resorting to bird snatching as they bid to keep up a continual supply.
As a result of the increased crimes, the British Hen Welfare Trust has issued guidance to those keeping chickens in their garden.
The charity says to keep a watchful eye at all times and always lock up coops.
A statement issued on its website reads: "The safety and welfare of our beloved hens is, as always, a priority and we are advising all hen owners to take extra precautions.
"We have unfortunately been hearing anecdotal evidence of hens being stolen from their coops due to these unprecedented circumstances.
"Please be vigilant with your security and keep a close eye on your flock to keep them safe."
Eggs - like almost every other food product - are in great demand at shops, with shelves regularly being stripped bare.
Supermarkets in Kent have been ramping up social distancing measures by enforcing one-in, one-out policies and marking hazard squares on the floor.
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More by this authorJoe Wright