UK news Chalk marks outside Cambs homes spark panic after rise in pet thefts last minute news
MetiNews.Com - Police have warned pet owners to be vigilant with their pets after a concerning rise in thefts across Cambridgeshire
Breaking News ! Houses in several Cambridgeshire villages appear to have been marked by dog thieves after chalk symbols appeared outside them on Saturday afternoon (August 1). The demand for pets as people spend more time at home during the lockdown has massively driven up the price of animals and as a result East Anglia as seen a huge spike in dog thefts. Several people have spotted a white van driving slowly around villages, and with a man getting out to mark properties. It's believed that this is how the dognappers are identifying houses to target. Earlier this week, police issued a warning to pet owners asking them to be vigilant after the spate of thefts. Two spaniels police recovered earlier this year Other reports have also surfaced of dog walkers being accosted, and even dogs just being taken from gardens during the day. Notably, some homes where dogs have been stolen were marked with chalk symbols. On Saturday (August 1) many villages in South Cambridgeshire noticed such behaviour with mysterious white chalk lines appearing on people's fences. Read More Related Articles Police seize dangerous dog in Cambridge after spate of bloody attacks Read More Related Articles Urgent warning to dog owners as pet food recalled over salmonella fears Residents in Duxford, Sawston and Earith have all noticed chalk marks appearing on fences and walls over the weekend, however, no confirmed thefts have been reported to the police. Panic has broken out on social media and community groups as people are suitably worried about their pets with some saying they would not risk leaving them home alone after recent activity. Meanwhile, a van that has allegedly been connected to suspicious behaviour in Ipswich, Suffolk and other parts of the country and has been associated with dog thefts on social media was spotted in Cherry Hinton, Cambridge. Spaniels like Jasper, a medical detection dog adopted from Wood Green, appear to be the most common targets for dognappers (Image: Tim Sky) There have been a number of confirmed thefts including a litter of Cocker spaniel puppies taken from a home in Cottenham. Thieves forced their way into a caravan in Setchell Drove between 1.30pm and 2.30pm on Wednesday, July 22 before stealing the litter of seven puppies, valued at up to £2,000 each, and their mother. The puppies were taken from Cottenham Detective Sergeant Ashley Ryan said: “The owners are utterly heartbroken and extremely concerned for the welfare of their dogs. “I’m urging anyone who has been offered a similar-looking dog, or knows someone who has, to get in touch.” An earlier incident has also been confirmed by police where thieves broke into a kennel in Stretham on Sunday, July 12. Read More Related Articles Owners 'heartbroken' after beloved cocker spaniel and seven puppies stolen in Cottenham burglary Read More Related Articles Owner of dogs snatched by thieves makes desperate appeal to find them A white West Highland Terrier called Grace, a Jack Russell cross Chihuahua with white and brown hair called Holly and a Schnauzer cross Chihuahua with light brown and black hair called Alice were all taken in the theft. Other thefts reported to police include: Two cocker spaniels were stolen on May 3 from Bluntisham. They were found and returned to their rightful owners following a warrant in Willingham on June 5. One cocker spaniel was stolen from Stow Cum Quy on May 13. One spaniel was stolen on May 21 from Newborough, Peterborough, and subsequently returned following a social media campaign by the owners.
. One cocker spaniel was stolen from Wilburton on June 23. And an attempted theft of dogs in Haddenham on July 3.
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Detective Inspector Chris O’Brien said: “Dogs are often part of the family and every theft is absolutely devastating for owners. “With more people working from home and finding themselves with extra time, the demand for dogs has soared across the country. “However, this has in turn resulted in huge increases in prices which has sadly led to criminals taking advantage of the situation by stealing dogs in an attempt to sell them on at a high price.” "I would urge all owners to report stolen dogs to us. On some occasions we have found the dogs and been able to reunite them with their owners. “Also take extra precautions to help deter thieves and protect your pets.” Advice for dog owners
Police dogs at Cambridge Station
While there has undoubtedly been a rise in dog thefts over the last weeks, it's important to remember that many reports on social media have not been verified by police. Police are advising that anyone who does lose a dog to follow the below steps: Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times Lock gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock. Ensure there are no places where dogs or other animals can escape or be pulled through, if they are left in a back garden. Never leave your pet in the garden unattended Fit a bell or gate alarm so it makes a sound when someone opens it Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any visitors, these can also be used in rear gardens Make sure your dog is microchipped and their details are updated so that they can be returned if they are stolen and subsequently found. Avoid leaving a dog tied up outside a shop or left alone in a car, even for a few minutes Take lots of photographs of your dog to prove ownership if it’s stolen and then found. Report dog theft to police straight away.
How to report a stolen dog If your dog is stolen then it’s vital to report it to police by calling 101, but owners should also consider: Reporting the theft to your local authority dog warden and notify your microchip database provider. Reporting the theft to www.doglost.co.uk or their Facebook page as they co-ordinate thefts for each county and offer advice and support. Anyone with information about a stolen dog, or suspicious behaviour, can report it to police on 101 or online at cambs.police.uk/report.