Austrian police hunt for cowbell thieves

VIENNA (AFP) - Austrian police said Monday (Aug 26) they are hunting for thieves who stole over a dozen bells from cows grazing in the west of the country.

"Of course people may wonder why someone would steal a cowbell," Bernhard Gruber, a police spokesman from the Tyrol region, told AFP.

Police are investigating four thefts of a total of 13 cowbells in the Tyrol this month, and say they suspect the thieves in at least three cases are the same.

Police estimated that the stolen bells were worth a total of less than 1,000 euros (S$1,541).

"They don't have a high material value... but for the farmers themselves it's more the sentimental value," Gruber said.

Many breeders take their cattle to graze in mountain pastures in the spring, bringing them back down before winter.

The festive cattle drive in late September or early October - featuring farmers wearing traditional lederhosen and cows festooned with flowers - is a popular tourist draw.