Police are appealing for information following the theft of hundreds of sheep from the hills above Glenarm.
It has emerged that about 170 black faced ewes and an unknown number of lambs, worth £17,000, were stolen from the Drumcrow Road area of Shillnavogie sometime in the past seven months.
PSNI area commander, Chief Inspector Bryan Hume said this type of crime was “very unusual” in this area and reassured the local community that police are working hard to apprehend those involved.
He added: “Police from across the district are working in order to find the missing livestock, as well as to bring those involved before the courts.
“Local Neighbourhood Officers in the area are continuing to liaise directly with the rural community to ascertain information which may be useful to the investigation.
“This is an extremely distressing time for those affected by this crime, especially in the difficult economic environment facing the rural community.
“This crime has a direct impact on the agricultural industry of Northern Ireland.”
Enquiries are continuing and anyone with information is asked to contact Constable Penny, Broughshane on 0845 600 8000.
Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.