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A harrier hawk used to scare pigeons away at the Wimbledon tennis championships has been stolen.

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The four-year-old called Rufus is used to patrol the skies and deter pigeons.

He is also a family pet and his owners are said to be distressed after the theft of their bird and his cage overnight between Thursday and Friday.

He had been in a car parked on a private drive in Dunstall Road, Wimbledon.

The rear window had been open for ventilation.

Police said that at the Wimbledon tennis venue Rufus is a working bird of prey who deters pigeons purely by its presence.

If anyone has any information about the theft or who may have the bird, they should contact Wimbledon CID on 020 8649 3118.

If the bird is seen in the local area, call the owner on 07738 590 951.

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