Owners of dogs stolen in south Leicestershire are hoping that they are among 83 pets rescued by police in Suffolk

The stolen dogs are now being scanned for microchips as officers work with other police forces to track down the owners amid fears that many animals were taken in the Midlands

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:14 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd March 2021, 12:20 pm

The owners of dogs stolen in South Leicestershire are hoping that they are among 83 pets rescued by police in Suffolk.

The stolen dogs are now being scanned for microchips as officers work with other police forces to track down the owners amid fears that many animals were taken in the Midlands.

The police raid went ahead after dog thefts have soared during pandemic lockdowns nationwide – including in Harborough over the last few months.

West Meadows travellers’ site at Ipswich.

The dogs were rescued on Saturday as search warrants were executed at West Meadows travellers’ site at Ipswich.

Six people were arrested by police investigating a stolen dog racket.

Three women aged 35, 41 and 46, two 34-year-old men and a 38-year-old man – all from Ipswich – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.

All six were taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning before being freed on bail until April 16.

Dozens of police backed up by partner agencies carried out the raid.

Officers were at the camp for almost 10 hours as they searched the site and recovered the dogs.

Det Ch Supt Eamonn Bridger, of Suffolk Police, said the highly-co-ordinated operation was “highly successful and significant”.

“I know many victims of these crimes will be anxious to know whether or not we have recovered their pet,” said Det Ch Supt Bridger.

“I would like to reassure them that we are working as quickly as possible to identify who all the dogs belong to and aim to reunite them with their owners as soon as we can.”

Anyone who has information about dog thefts is asked to contact Suffolk South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich, quoting reference: 13719/21.

Call 101 and ask for Suffolk Police.