Police seize 83 dogs and arrest six people during raid on suspected puppy-stealing gang

More than 80 suspected stolen dogs have been seized and six people arrested at a Suffolk Travellers’ site in connection with a series of pet thefts. 

The animals were discovered during a 10 hour search of the site on the outskirts of Ipswich on Saturday afternoon. 

Three women, aged 35, 41 and 46, two 34 year old men and a 38 year old man were all arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal the 83 dogs. 

The animals were discovered during a 10 hour search of the site on the outskirts of Ipswich

The animals were discovered during a 10 hour search of the site on the outskirts of Ipswich

The animals were discovered during a 10 hour search of the site on the outskirts of Ipswich 

All six, all from Ipswich, remain in Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning. 

Four people were also fined during the search in relation to breaches of coronavirus regulations, while dispersal notices were also given to several others.    

Suffolk Constabulary said they are now focusing on reuniting the dogs with their owners, and will be working with other forces in the East Anglia region.

It comes after a pet owner from Carmarthenshire, west Wales, discovered 70 stolen dogs locked in cages after he launched a search for his own missing spaniels. 

Tony Cronin discovered the animals, thought to be worth up to £40,000, in cages after receiving a tip off.  

Recent figures have shown a spike in dognapping cases amid lockdown.

Three women, aged 35, 41 and 46, two 34 year old men and a 38 year old man were arrested

Three women, aged 35, 41 and 46, two 34 year old men and a 38 year old man were arrested

Three women, aged 35, 41 and 46, two 34 year old men and a 38 year old man were arrested

In 2020, the cost of puppies more than doubled, with volunteer service Dogs Lost reporting a 170 per cent increase in stolen dogs.

The group, which reunites missing dogs and their owners, said more than 320 cases were reported to police between January and August last year. 

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger of Suffolk police said dog theft has become a ‘particular problem’ across the country since the first UK wide lockdown in March 2020 due to the demand for certain breeds. 

Suffolk Constabulary are now working to reunite the dogs with their rightful owners

Suffolk Constabulary are now working to reunite the dogs with their rightful owners

Suffolk Constabulary are now working to reunite the dogs with their rightful owners

Four people were also fined during the search for breaches of coronavirus regulations

Four people were also fined during the search for breaches of coronavirus regulations

Four people were also fined during the search for breaches of coronavirus regulations

‘We recognise that these crimes have a significant impact on the families affected and we will continue to disrupt criminals wherever we have information that we can act upon,’ he said. 

‘I know many victims of these crimes will be anxious to know whether or not we have recovered their pet.

‘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.’  

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger of Suffolk police said dog theft has become a \'particular problem\' across the country since the first UK wide lockdown in March last year

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger of Suffolk police said dog theft has become a \'particular problem\' across the country since the first UK wide lockdown in March last year

Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger of Suffolk police said dog theft has become a ‘particular problem’ across the country since the first UK wide lockdown in March last year

The RSPCA has also warned pet owners against fraudsters posing as animal welfare officers.

A spokesman for the charity said: ‘We would like to remind and reassure the public that our inspectors and rescue officers all wear branded uniforms and carry identification. 

‘If one of our officers knocks on your door, please ask to see their ID and check their uniform for branding.

‘Our staff wear navy blue uniforms with the RSPCA logo, as well as white shirts with a black or blue tie and black epaulets.’   

Anyone with information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich.

Have you lost your dog in the Suffolk area? Let us know and send a picture of your missing pet to tips@dailymail.com 

Link hienalouca.com

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