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Leiston: Dog owner Janet Lockwood elated after her pet pooches are found inside stolen van on Westleton Common

PUBLISHED: 18:12 17 April 2014 | UPDATED: 20:01 17 April 2014

Janet Lockwood is reunited with her dogs Chi and Zeus who were in the back of her van when it was stolen. Janet is pictured at home in Rendham.

Janet Lockwood is reunited with her dogs Chi and Zeus who were in the back of her van when it was stolen. Janet is pictured at home in Rendham.

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A relieved Janet Lockwood has been reunited with two of her pet dogs which were stolen along with her van two days ago.

Janet Lockwood is reunited with her dogs Chi and Zeus who were in the back of her van when it was stolen. Janet is pictured at home in Rendham.Janet Lockwood is reunited with her dogs Chi and Zeus who were in the back of her van when it was stolen. Janet is pictured at home in Rendham.

After popping into work at the Leiston Veterinary Clinic on Tuesday morning a shocked Mrs Lockwood could only watch on in horror as a man jumped into her Ford Transit and drove off – with pets Chi and Zeus in the back.

A distraught Mrs Lockwood said at the time: “There was nothing I could do. He just drove off so quickly.”

But all is now well again after an eagle-eyed member of the public spotted the van partially concealed on Westleton Common later that day.

They called Mrs Lockwood shortly after 4pm. She then rushed to the common and called the police.

At the time she just happened to be with her friend and off duty police officer Trudie Beckwith.

When they arrived to find Mrs Lockwood’s van parked on the common Pc Beckwith approached it and gingerly opened the back doors.

Fortunately for Mrs Lockwood she got a big thumbs-up from Pc Beckwith – the dogs were still safely inside and unharmed, thanks to modifications fitted to the van.

“The temperature of the common when we arrived was 21C (69.8F),” Mrs Lockwood said. “Thank goodness we’ve got this special insulation in the back of the van that keeps it cool.

“I don’t know what the inside temperature of the van would have been had it not got that special boarding.”

Both Chi and Zeus, a blue tri border collie and a sable collie-cross respectively, bounded over to their mistress when they were released, but seemed unaffected by their ordeal.

“They were just in there a long time and they just wanted a drink and to go for a walk,” laughed Mrs Lockwood.

The van was taken away by police for forensic examination. A few items from the van, such as a satnav, some CDs and Mrs Lockwood’s handbag, were stolen.

However she said these were of little value compared to having her beloved pooches safely back at home.

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