THE artist behind a zebra sculpture stolen from Southampton city centre has called for more security after a spate of vandalism and thefts.

Cara Sandys, who designed the Ticket to Ride creature stolen from Marwell’s Zany Zebra Trail, has urged anyone who sees anything suspicious on the trail to contact the police immediately.

Police are still hunting the 5ft-by-6ft zebra removed from its plinth in Vincents Walk.

They are also investigating six other vandalism incidents since the trail launched last month.

Marwell says it will have to find more secure locations for some of the artwork.They include the first zebra that was attacked, Criss Cross, which went back on display at its new spot inside Marwell’s Zany Zebra Zone at the Marlands Shopping Centre yesterday.

Now Cara has called for more people to be vigilant in reporting crimes including vandalism and theft.

She is also calling for anyone who knows where her sculpture is to contact Marwell or the police so it can be returned.

The 57-year-old from Portswood, from handcrafted jewellery firm Silk Dreamings, said: “I was really sad Ticket to Ride had been stolen because I had put a lot of work into it.

“It just makes you wonder how people can get away with it. They do need to be situated somewhere where there’s CCTV and if there is CCTV there, why hasn’t it worked?

“This is a city, people have phones so why aren’t people reporting these things to the police?

“These zebras bring so much joy to Southampton. This is an attack on creativity and also on happiness.

“Art should be accessible to everybody and here we have art on display for people to see for free any time of the day or night and people just want to destroy it.”

More than 400 taxi drivers from Radio Taxis have vowed to be the eyes and ears of the city to help protect the zebras still displayed on the streets.

Inspector Pete Jones from Hampshire Constabulary added: “We continue to actively investigate all reports we receive involving the zebra artwork statues in the city.

“The Zany Zebra trail is a vibrant addition to the city which has proved popular with residents, visitors and young families.

“The majority of people in the city have enjoyed and valued the artworks.

“Clearly there is a small minority who have no respect for their surroundings and have thoughtlessly set about ruining this conservation campaign for everyone else.

“These acts of vandalism and theft are mindless and childish, and won’t be tolerated.”

Anyone with details should call the police on 101.any information about the theft of vandalism of the zebras is asked to contact the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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