Thames Valley Police is imploring horse owners to postcode their tack after £25,000 worth was stolen in the Thames Valley area in past weeks.

Helen Evans, Thames Valley Horsewatch coordinator said: “It is such a simple thing to do. I’m surprised at how complacent people are.

“Just how many times do we need to tell them to get their kit marked? I’m amazed insurance companies keep paying up for unmarked stolen goods that will never find its way back to the original owner.

“It’s incredibly frustrating for the police, who, when investigating equine crime, find stolen goods but are unable to trace the legal owners.”

Ms Evans said Thames Valley Police suspects the robberies are being carried out by the same group of people.

She said: “They know what they are doing. They force entry and then usually just take the best tack. They use people’s wheelbarrows to cart it away. We always say put your wheelbarrows out of sight, it only helps thieves.”

More than 45 saddles have been stolen in the wave of robberies over the past few weeks. Only one was postcoded.

Ms Evans added: “People always say the police aren’t doing enough but if goods are retrieved, which they often are, the majority have to be destroyed as they have no ownership marks.”