Police took a tongue-in-cheek approach to publicising the recovery of three lambs found being transported through a suburban area in the back of a people carrier - by blurring their faces.
West Midlands Police said they obscured the lambs features due to their "age and vulnerability" after arresting three men suspected of poaching them. The trio are now behind "baa-rs".
Officers spotted the "three woolly back-seat passengers" being driven in a Ford Galaxy along Hob Moor Road, Yardley, Birmingham, early Tuesday morning.
Police said the vehicle "tried making off" but moments later rammed into a parked car in Rosedale Road. The men then tried to flee on foot.
West Midlands Police units – including a dog handler and the police helicopter – "flocked to the scene" in a bid to find the suspects.
In their press release, police continued their sheep jokes saying their "shear determination" paid off when they found the men hiding in nearby gardens. One was found up a tree and another was in a conservatory.
The Romanian nationals, aged 22, 27 and 28, were then "herded into a police van" and are being held on suspicion of theft.
The lambs were recovered unhurt from the vehicle and have been temporarily re-homed on a farm in Sheldon while police try and locate their owners.
Inspector Paul Southern said: “It’s not every day we recover live stolen property, but the lambs seem none the worse for their adventure.
“We are now trying to trace where they came from and are asking farmers to check their flocks to see if they have any missing.”
Anyone with information about the thefts is asked to contact West Midlands Police.
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