Police warn Sheffield pet owners ‘take steps’ keeping dogs safe and out of criminal hands
South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning about crime gangs targeting dogs after a number of thefts.
The force is warning that with some pedigree dogs selling for thousands of pounds, pets can be stolen ‘as a way of making money’.
The warning came after three puppies were stolen in a gunpoint ambush in Sheffield.
Their owner had arranged to meet a man interested in buying the pups on Verdon Street, Burngreave, on Monday, February 22.
The pair had been discussing the potential sale via socia media.
But when the owner and a friend turned up with the Cane Corso and Rottweiler pups, a man pointed a gun at them through their car window while three others stole the dogs.
Two Cane Corsos and one Rottweiler were stolen, with another Rottweiler dropped by the thieves as they made their getaway.That same day, four Mastiff-Cane Corso crossbreeds were stolen from a flat on Smelter Wood Road, Richmond, when their owner was held up at knifepoint.
In another terrifying incident, a woman was dragged out of her car by a man who tried to steal her Lhasa Apso on Monday, February 15.
She was travelling along Owlthorpe Greenway when a van pulled up in front of her and a man jumped out and approached her car.
He demanded that she hand over her dog and when she refused the man grabbed her hair through the car window and dragged her out of the vehicle.
DCI Jamie Henderson, of South Yorkshire Police, said: “We understand how distressing it is to be a victim of dog theft and I would encourage anybody who believes their dog has been stolen to report it to us.
“This gives us a better understanding of where it is happening and enables us to undertake enquiries to identify those responsible.
“Dog thefts can often be linked to organised crime groups as a way of making money. Stolen pedigree breeds can sell for thousands of pounds, and with more people working from home at the moment the demand for dogs has increased.
“Please take steps to keep your dog safe and out of the hands of criminals.”