Police are investigating an unusual case of sheep rustling in Inverness – after a ceramic model was stolen from a garden and split in half.
The badly damaged life size replica was spotted by neighbours of the property in the street, propped up between a bin and a lamp post.
A model lamb was also removed and damaged.
The sheep was taken from a garden in the Westhill area of the city and was found near a bus shelter on Woodside Farm Drive.
The incident happened overnight between Saturday and Sunday – with neighbours reporting hearing noises from what sounded like a group of people at a footpath near the properties in the early hours.
Neighbours contacted police and local councillor Duncan Macpherson, who visited the area and also made contact with the force.
He said the incident could be down to “high jinks” but said it was disappointing.
He spoke with neighbours on the scene on Sunday, including the woman who found the damaged sheep.
He said: “This lady homeowner had been walking her two dogs on the footpath on Sunday lunchtime and came across the broken debris of the ornamental sheep on the tarred pathway leading to the bus stop.
“She reckons that the group of people had been banging it against the ground to break it at that point, and that was the noise, and them shouting, that had wakened her on Sunday morning between 3am and 4am.
“She then advised me that an ornamental lamb was also missing from her neighbour’s garden, along with the sheep.”
A police spokeswoman said: “Police received a report of an incident where a garden ornament was removed from a garden in the Westhill area of Inverness on the afternoon of Sunday May 28, 2017.
“It was later recovered, damaged, in the area.
“Officers are looking into it.
“Anyone with information should call 101 quoting ref NN/13100/17.”