JK Rowling has made a direct plea to fans not to buy a rare, handwritten Harry Potter prequel, which was stolen during a burglary.
The British author penned the story over two sides of an A5 postcard, which was sold for £25,000 at a charity auction at Sotheby’s in 2008.
Rowling begged her 10 million followers on Friday: “Please don’t buy this if you’re offered it.”
West Midlands Police is investigating the theft, which took place in Kings Heath.
Police are hoping the appeal goes far and wide among Harry Potter fans throughout the world.
The manuscript was written by Rowling to be auctioned in aid of English Pen, an organisation that supports writers’ freedoms.
The story is reportedly set three years before Harry Potter’s birth and features his father, James Potter, and godfather Sirius Black when they were teenagers.
Investigating Officer PC Paul Jauncey said: “The only people who will buy this unique piece are true Harry Potter fans.
“We are appealing to anyone who sees, or is offered this item for sale, to contact police.”
A quantity of jewellery was also stolen from the property on Howard Road when it was broken into sometime between April 13 and 24, police said.
Anyone who knows the whereabouts of the unique and rare postcard and those with information about the break-in are asked to contact West Midlands Police on 101.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting crime number 20BW/83503C/17