French Bulldog breeder threatened with hammer by masked thugs

Four of the French Bulldog puppies were stolen from a breeder in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, in an incide

Four of the French Bulldog puppies were stolen from a breeder in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, in an incident where two masked men threatened the owner with a hammer Picture: ESSEX POLICE - Credit: ESSEX POLICE

A pair of men armed with a hammer stole a litter of French Bulldogs worth thousands of pounds in a late-night aggravated burglary.

Essex Police were called to the scene of the incident in Freeland Road, Clacton-on-Sea, shortly before midnight on November 18 with reports that two masked men had forced entry into a property.

One of the men reportedly threatened the occupant with a hammer.

The suspects then stole four 10-week-old French bulldog puppies and fled via neighbouring gardens.

Detectives working on the case would like to speak to anyone who lives in the area or was driving nearby at the time who may have vital information to help locate the two suspects.

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Officers would also like to hear from anyone who has a video doorbell or dashcam footage from close to the scene around midnight on November 18.

French Bulldogs have exploded in popularity in recent years, with the breed ranked the second most popular breed by The Kennel Club in 2019, only behind the Labrador Retriever.

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It was the number one breed the year before.

The puppies regularly sell for more than £1,000 - with some worth as much as £6,000 if they have rare colourations and healthy parents.

Essex Police have said they would also like to speak to anyone who has seen any French bulldog puppies for sale.

Reputable breeders are usually members of The Kennel Club and have their contact information and the dogs they breed listed on the club website.

While they can usually live up to 13 years, if they are not bred with care they can develop health problems including spinal disorders, eye infections and sores resulting from the rubbing of their skin folds.

Anyone with information are asked to contact Clacton CID on 101, quoting crime reference 42/183537/19.

Reports can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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