POLICE in the Borders are urging farmers in the area to remain extra vigilant amid fears that thieves are plotting to steal horses.

Enquiries are ongoing after a resident in Hallrule in Hawick reported yesterday morning that one of his horses had its mane pleated overnight.

Police are investigating the theory that this is a sign the animal has been marked as a target for a possible theft.

Chief Inspector Andrew Clark said: “This latest incident is similar to a call we received last week, when a horse’s tail had been cut and left on a gate at a farm in Maxton.

“So it is imperative that farmers in the area report any suspicious activity as soon as possible and stay vigilant to the threat of thieves.

“We would urge any members of the public who saw anything unusual around Hallrule late on Wednesday night or early on Thursday morning to contact Police Scotland on 101 or, alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”