Police say rise in dog thefts in Doncaster is down to Covid after attempted snatch
Police in Doncaster say Covid is behind an increasing number of dog thefts following another attempted animal theft in town over the weekend.
Officers have remained dog walkers to be vigilant and on their guard – and say that criminals are targeting pets because the coronavirus crisis has forced the cost of pets to rise.
It comes after an attempt to snatch a dog in Armthorpe over the weekend was foiled.
A spokesman for Doncaster East Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "Please do not leave your dogs unattended in your garden, and please take care when walking your dog alone.
"Please remain alert and vigilant at all times. Mainly due to Covid, dog prices have shot up and therefore dogs are being stolen to breed.
"There was an attempt theft in Armthorpe yesterday, luckily they didn't succeed. Please be aware that the van involved yesterday is a small white Fiat Fiorino.”
Meanwhile South Yorkshire Police have reiterated that all dog thefts should be reported to police – and not just shared on social media.
In recent weeks, there have been numerous Facebook posts circulating about dogs being stolen from gardens or from their owners while being walked.
A spokesman said: “The issue of reported dog thefts is a national one, but the key is that individuals must report suspicious behaviour or dog thefts to police so that we can better understand this type of crime, where it’s happening and undertake enquiries to identify those responsible.
“We are aware of lots of anecdotal information on social media, but few incidents are reported to police.
Incidents can be reported on 101.