A man from St Neots says he is concerned someone is driving around on the lookout for high value dog breeds.
Jake Pendleton claims he spotted a suspicious looking white van driver stopping to stare at dog walkers with expensive breeds in Monarch Road.
He is convinced a dognapper is on the prowl.
He said: “There’s been a white van driver around my area in St Neots recently that keeps stopping and staring at dog walkers especially the more high value breeds.
“I saw a white van with three guys with black hoods, gloves and balaclavas. They came driving down the road and saw my neighbour’s Shar Pei and suddenly slowed down. Then they came back at night.
“I spoke to my local police but said they can’t do anything, even though I gave them descriptions and number plates.”
Jake’s concern comes after a Cavapoo called Olive, owned by a Cambridgeshire family, went missing for over a week.
Olive’s owners the King family launched a social media campaign after their beloved pet was snatched from outside Direct Cycles in Chesterton on January 24.
She was eventually found 114 miles away in Wolverhampton where she had been sold on to a couple.
Some popular dog breeds such as the Cockapoo can fetch up to £700.
The News previously reported 31 dogs were stolen in the county in 2017, three of which were Cockapoo puppies – although Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Staff cross-breeds remain the top dog of choice for thieves, with six stolen.
Two Chihuahua puppies are also among those dog-napped last year.
The data shows where the dogs were stolen from and include homes, gardens, parks, streets, kennels and there was a failed attempt to steal a Saluki from an animal shelter.
A Cambridgeshire police spokeswoman said it is not something the force is aware of being an everyday issue, but offered some advice to concerned dog owners.
She said: “Having your dog stolen can be extremely distressing. Simple measures like locking doors and keeping your property secure will help deter thieves. Never leave your pet tied-up unattended. Ensure your dog is microchipped and, when in a public place, is wearing a collar and ID tag.
“If you believe your dog has been stolen, check with family or friends who may have access to ensure they haven’t taken the dog out and then call police.
“If you have lost your dog, please contact the local dog warden.”
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This content was originally published here.