A FAMILY have been left devastated after their beloved pet koi carp was stolen from their Wollescote garden pond.

Paul Chester and his two children Olivia, 10, and Madison, 5, are appealing for the safe return of their fish Henry after a thief was caught on CCTV taking the pet from the pond.

The family believe the offender was particularly looking for the prized 30 inch-long koi after spending more than six minutes fishing it out of the water.

Paul said: “Whoever did it must have known what they were doing and had been here before because their route into our garden was heavily trodden down and would not have been done during that one time.

“They spent a long time fishing Henry out of the pond and didn’t take any of our other fish, so they must have come especially for him.

“We hope he can be returned as my children absolutely loved the fish. He was their favourite pet, so they are obviously heartbroken by it all.

“Unfortunately I don’t hold out much hope of finding the person who did it, as my wife Nicola, who works for the police, said even with the CCTV footage we have, the man has a hood covering his face so would be almost impossible to find.”

Paul is now asking the fishing community to look out for any person who might be selling koi in the area.

He added: “We just want to make other people aware of these kind of things going on in the area, and warn them to be vigilant.

“But if anyone is offered a large koi for sale, or if anyone has any information which could help us, please get in contact.”

If you have any information which could help Paul, call him on 07976 291272.