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Bury St Edmunds: Owners warned over dog thefts as Toby’s tale has happy ending

12:33 30 July 2014

Bryan Alder reunited with Toby, his miniature schnauzer. Toby was taken from Bryan's garden.

Bryan Alder reunited with Toby, his miniature schnauzer. Toby was taken from Bryan's garden.

A dog owner is warning others to be extra vigilant after thieves stole his miniature schnauzer Toby from his back garden.

Luckily, Bryan Alder and his fiancée Karen Matthews, of Horsecroft Road in Bury St Edmunds, have been reunited with him after he was taken on Saturday.

Also on the same day a poodle cross puppy was stolen from a garden in Church Lane, Exning, and that is now also safely home with its owner.

Mr Alder actually saw a woman and a girl walking away with Toby, aged 10, at about midday near the Spread Eagle pub, but he was unable to reach them before they disappeared.

Due to the power and speed of social media, and thanks to a website to trace lost pets, the couple received a call that evening saying their dog had been found and he was home with them the next day.

Mr Alder, 51, a HGV driver, said: “We were lucky really. I’m doing this [speaking to the media] to highlight it so if there’s a spate of it going on people will be extra aware.

“I have already put a bolt and a padlock on the gate. It’s just to highlight these things can happen so fast. It’s not the value of the dog. He’s part of the family.”

Mr Alder said he could not see Toby in the garden so looked across the road and spotted a middle-aged woman and a young girl, and looked down and thought ‘that’s my dog!’

He immediately jumped in his car, but by the time he got there they were gone.

Mr Alder said through his partner posting about missing Toby on Facebook, they learned of the ‘lost and found’ website, and it was through that that they were reunited with their dog.

It is still unclear as to where exactly Toby was found, Mr Alder said, but he turned up at Swayne and Partners Veterinary Surgery near Asda in Bury.

He said the dog warden thought Toby had been left because he had been neutered so could not be used for breeding.

Police are appealing for information about both dog thefts.

The woman and girl were seen to be walking Toby away on a lead.

The woman is described as in her mid-30s, about 5ft 5ins tall, with dark brown/black shoulder-length hair and wearing a blue polo shirt with white writing on the back and dark blue jeans.

The girl is described as aged 13 to 14, about 5ft tall, with blonde shoulder-length hair, and wearing a pink t-shirt/dress. The black and white poodle cross puppy was taken between 6.40pm and 7pm when two iron bars were removed from the top of a brick wall to provide a gap to lift the dog through. This dog was found near Wisbech late on Sunday night.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

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