Wild birds are being snatched from gardens and fields across Kent before being sold illegally.
Goldfinches, chaffinches and other attractive small birds are being caught using traps, nets and GLUE in what police are describing as a network of organised crime.
PC Michael "Geordie" Laidlow from the police's rural partnership team is one of six Kent officers dedicated to dealing with wildlife, environmental and heritage crime.
He said: "The theft of wild birds seems to be on the increase throughout Kent. It's something we come across quite often. There are networks of thieves operating across the county – I would call it low-level organised crime.