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Wildlife cameras stolen from field in East Malling

Police are hunting for offenders who stole two remote camera sets from a professional wildlife photographer.

The cameras had been left in a privately owned field in East Malling by Terry Whittaker, who was keen to record the activities of local foxes.

The cameras had been padlocked in secure boxes which were in turn padlocked and chained to trees, but that did not stop their being stolen last Thursday.

Police would like to interview these two
Police would like to interview these two

Mr Whittaker said: “This was not an opportunistic theft - they came armed with bolt-cutters to remove the padlocks.”

But Mr Whittaker believes he recorded the theft on a third camera and he has been able to supply images to the police.

The two suspects mostly keep their faces hidden under hoodies, but are believed to be in their teens or early 20s.

One is wearing a blue, red and white check jacket over a grey hoodie, with blue jeans and Nike trainers. The other has a blue quilted Parka over a a dark hoodie, also with jeans and trainers.

Two men matching their description tried to sell a camera equipment to a second-hand shop in Maidstone’s Week Street the next day but were turned away by shop staff.

A police spokesman said: “We are keen to speak to these men in connection with the theft. Anyone who can identify them should phone 101 and quote crime reference number YY/9515/15.

An image previously taken by Terry Whittaker on one of the stolen remote cameras
An image previously taken by Terry Whittaker on one of the stolen remote cameras

The stolen cameras were both Nikons. One was activated by movement; the other by the subject crossing a beam.

They were valued at approximately £2,150.

Mr Whittaker, 59, from Folkestone, has been visiting the site with the permission of the landowner for 13 years, initially to do a study of water voles, and more recently foxes.

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