A spate of dog thefts have been carried out, with criminals seemingly marking their targets with white chalk.
The thefts have been reported over the past month in Gloucestershire.
In the latest incident, a rottweiler was taken from a house in the village of Drybrook shortly after 5am yesterday, August 30.
Chalk marks have been seen on properties and house fences in Hardwick, where dogs were being kept.
Two men were also spotted acting suspiciously in the area, Gloucestershire Live reports.
On August 18, a collie and her six puppies were taken from a property in Brockworth after 9pm.
On August 15, a black English pointer was taken from a house in Longney at around 10.40pm.
The thief reportedly tried to take a second dog from the address.
On August 13, a labrador cross was stolen from a house in Brookthrope.
Gloucestershire Police have issued the following advice for dog owners:
- Keep an ID tag on your dog at all times (your surname, mobile number and address only)
- Secure gates using bolts at the top and bottom, along with a heavy-duty padlock and gate alarm
- Never leave your pet in the garden unattended
- Purchase a driveway alarm so you are alerted to any intruders, these can also be used in rear gardens and yards
- 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, pay particular attention to any distinguishing markings on your dog.
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Owners have also been told to vary walk times and locations.
Anyone who spots suspicious activity should contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101.
Those with information about the latest theft in Drybrook should quote incident 120 of 30 August.
Earlier this week, Chief Inspector Rich Pegler said: “A dog is not just a pet, it’s a member of the family and part of a home."
“We are doing all we can to stop these callous thieves and I would urge anyone who sees anything suspicious to call us immediately."
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