THE Guardia Civil have recovered 17 stolen racing pigeons in Massanassa all because a getaway vehicle used by the thieves was travelling very slowly.
An overnight Guardia patrol was monitoring industrial estates when they stopped a suspicious slow-moving car.
Inside they saw 17 pigeons flapping around with no cages to keep them safe.
Two men and a 15-year-old boy- all of Spanish nationality- were arrested for robbery after being unable to produce any pigeon identification documents.
One of the pigeons had a ring with a telephone number on it and officers called it and spoke to a grateful farmer who confirmed his birds had been stolen.
The 17 birds are said to be worth €20,000 and are specially trained for racing and attract a high price for breeding purposes.
The theft was the latest in a series of pigeon robberies in the Valencian Community.
Last November, 120 birds were stolen from a Benidorm pigeon racing club and youths struck again to take 18 birds from the same club two months ago.