Cops have launched an investigation after bizarre thieves pinched a rabbit hutch from an animal charity ... before snapping PICTURES of a horse.
The bandits struck at Lamont City Farm, Erskine, on Friday night.
But the oddball crooks were caught on CCTV stealing the hutch – although they did leave the bunny behind.
Now charity bosses are worried that the thieves are planning to steal animals to order and this may have been the reason why took snaps of their horse.
Project manager Patricia Craig said the centre has been devastated by the break-in with hard-working staff fearing the gangsters will return to abduct a horse for sale on the underworld black market.
She said: “This is despicable that people would stoop so low to rob a children’s charity especially at this time of year.
“But more worrying is that the men took photographs of one of the horses, so they are planning on it stealing it and selling it off to a buyer.
“We think they are part of a gang of travellers, and they are looking at identifying horses to sell on for profit.
“Horse theft is a real worry to us.”
The men broke in to the centre at around 7pm on Friday evening and stole a custom-built rabbit hutch worth more than £200.
The callous thieves ejected the rabbit from its home and made off with the 5ft by 5ft wooden construction.
But, during the raid, the men whipped out a digital camera and began snapping pictures of one of the horses in the care of the animal welfare centre.
Bosses said Friday’s break-in is the third time this year the centre has been targeted by thieves.
However, the weekend raid was captured on CCTV cameras operated under the centre’s security system.
Patricia added she is handing over the images to Strathclyde Police who are investigating the incident.
She said: “We are an established charity which rescues animals and we work with children and nurseries to help them learn about animals.
“We provide much-needed therapy to children with special needs and we allow youngsters to brush horses which is an incredibly therapeutic thing for youngsters to experience.
“You can imagine our disgust that thieves are targeting one of our animals, which is a horse we recently rescued from Roseneath, near Helensburgh, and the animal in particular is underweight.
“We need to catch these guys and we are asking people to be on the lookout for them.
“We are working with police on stopping this and are appealing to anyone with information to come forward and help us.”
She added the charity has been working on having the images enhanced so the men’s faces will be recognisable in the photograph.