CCTV cameras near a Marks & Spencer store in Nantwich, Greater Manchester, caught the moment when thieves ran off with a pair of black Labradors. The poor pups were tied up outside the store as their owners were inside shopping.
The shocking incident happened last Saturday in broad daylight. The cruel theft left owner Charlotte Robson feeling 'deeply upset' as she was forced to contemplate never getting the dogs back.
There's too many stories like this
Unfortunately, dog-napping stories are becoming far too common. But this one had a happy ending. Following an anonymous tip-off, police located the Labradors at a residential address in Stoke.
The dogs were unharmed, and three people, including a 14-year-old boy, were arrested on suspicion of theft. Police also reunited the pups with their humans. Charlotte Robson shared the good via an Instagram post:
Police believe organised crime gangs are behind the recent spate of dog thefts. Cases dramatically increased during the lockdown as demand for puppies rose.
Time for change
Dog theft is not a specific offence in the UK. And with people willing to pay large sums for some breeds, criminals see dog theft as a high reward/low-risk crime.
But dog lovers are demanding change. A recent petition to make dog theft a crime with 8-year minimum sentencing now has over 280k signatures. You can add yours by visiting petition.parliament.uk/petitions/560216.