No crime committed, say police after report of dog theft

Police say they do not believe a crime was committed after a report of a dog theft at the weekend.

A report of a dog being stolen from a garden in Brough St Giles on Saturday was circulated widely on social media.

It was reported that the dog had been later dumped nearby following the theft and had been returned home.

However, it is understood North Yorkshire Police do not believe a crime was committed and are no-longer investigating the incident.

The report comes amid widespread concern nationally about an increase in dog thefts.

It is believed the thefts have have been fuelled by spiralling prices for dogs due to the pandemic.

Last week, North Yorkshire Police urged dog owners not to take weapons with them on walks.

The force said it had seen reports on social media of owners taking weapons with them to protect themselves and their pet.

The message came following a report of an attempted dog theft in Pickering.

In another incident, six-year-old female cocker spaniel Lassie was taken from her pen in a back garden in Allen Grove, Stokesley, on July 28 last year.

CCTV footage shows three suspects in what is believed to be a white Volkswagen, possibly a Tiguan, steal the dog.

Two dogs were stolen from Scorton in November.

The two springer spaniel bitches called Poppy and Meg were taken during the night.

North Yorkshire Police said they know there is a lot of concern amongst dog owners and want to reassure the public that they take all reports seriously and thoroughly investigate each one.

A spokesperson said: “Many of us are dog owners too and our pets are incredibly important to us so we understand how emotive and worrying news of dog thefts can be.”

The force has issued latest statistics to show the number of dog thefts in North Yorkshire:

?In 2021 so far we have had 5 dog theft incidents reported.

?In July – September 2020 we had 10 dog theft incidents reported, to put this in context over that same 3 month period we had 3,002 general theft offences reported in total.

?Between 1 March 2020- 2 February 2021, we had 25 dog theft incidents reported in total which was a rise on the previous year (18) as reflected nationally.