Police urge vigilance following dog thefts

Sgt Brian Calver from Suffolk police's rural crime team has spoken out about the dog theft Picture:

Sgt Brian Calver from Suffolk police's rural crime team has spoken out about the dog theft Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS - Credit: Archant

Police said they understand the “natural concern” of pet owners who have taken to social media following a recent spate of dog thefts in Suffolk and neighbouring counties.

Dog owners have raised concerns about white chalk markings, with the marks spotted on brickwork, gates and fences at their homes.

While fears were voiced on social media that the marks were being used by thieves to target homes, police previously said they had no evidence to indicate this was the case.

Further potentially suspicious vehicles have also been highlighted on social media following the thefts, which have also taken place in Essex and Cambridgeshire.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “Police remain aware of social media commentary in relation to dog owners concerns relating to dog thefts and understand their natural concern.

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“We have received reports from members of the public of potentially suspicious activity in the west of the county, but at this stage there are no further confirmed acts of criminality.

“If dog owners, breeders or kennel owners receive unexpected visitors that cause suspicion, officers would be grateful if descriptions, footage or images of the individuals and/or their vehicles could be reported.”

MORE: Rise in Suffolk dog thefts a ‘huge concern’, says rural officerAmong the recent spate of incidents is the heartbreaking theft of 17 dogs and puppies from a boarding kennels at Barton Mills on July 9.

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Police are still urging all dog owners to remain vigilant.

“We’d reiterate our previous request to advise all owners to be vigilant and take extra care surrounding crime prevention measures.

“In particular, we would advise working dog owners and breeders to review security of any outdoor kennels,” the spokesman added.

“It is also important you know the law and what to look out for when purchasing a pet and in particular a puppy. For more information please visit the RSPCA website.”

MORE: Dog owners ‘on edge’ as mysterious white chalk markings appear outside homesSpeaking previously, Sergeant Brian Calver, of the rural crime team, said he believed the Covid-19 crisis has led to a greater demand for dogs and puppies and, in turn, a rise in prices.

Sgt Calver said criminals had “cottoned onto it” and dogs were being stolen to be sold at inflated prices.

Any information can be reported to police in 101.

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