Bird-brained robbers took flight after stealing ceramic parrots worth around £15,000 from an antiques shop that has traded in Chelsea for 35 years.
Feathers flew when thieves smashed the window display of Rogers de Rin Antiques in Royal Hospital Road, in the early hours Monday morning. They made off with two rare china Pollys, one of which was made in 1879, at about 2.30am.
The birds, which had pride of place in the window display, were a favourite of owner Victoria de Rin. One of them even featured on the store's annual Christmas card.
She said: "I'm really furious. The parrots were very rare and looked fantastic.You could almost stroke them. Car drivers used to admire them as they went past. They were marvellous.
"Lots of local people have commiserated with us after the break-in. We've repaired the window but now we want the parrots back."
The items stolen were a life-size green and red macaw parrot perched on ring, valued at £9,850, and a white and orange English majolica cockatoo, made in 1879, valued at £4,500. In the robbers' hurry to escape they smashed the tail off one and left a trail of blood leading away from the store down Paradise Walk.
If you have any information call Det Con Phil Scott on 020 8246 0231 or call Crimestoppers anonymously 0800 555 111.