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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 July 2005, 16:35 GMT 17:35 UK
Girl, 7, finds hamsters torched
Police are hunting thieves who set a Devon girl's pet hamsters ablaze.

Two hamsters and their hutches were stolen from the garden of a seven-year-old girl's home in Roundswell, Barnstaple, on 21 July.

But later that day the youngster was playing by a nearby stream when she spotted the hamsters who had been painted red and set alight.

Police called it a "particularly loathsome and vicious crime that caused great distress to a young child".

Pc Terry Hodgson of Barnstaple Police, said: "We are sure someone in the area would have knowledge of this incident, and urge anyone with information to contact us to ensure that the offenders are dealt with."

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