Published: 13:00, 01 February 2013 |
Updated: 09:43, 10 January 2014
A man has been arrested after six dogs were stolen in Sittingbourne within just a week.
The 22-year-old, from Sheerness, was held after the spate of pet nabbings in the area.
Kent Police said officers want to trace the driver of a white panel van spotted near the scene of many of the thefts.
Among the dogs stolen was a 13-month-old pug - snatched from its teenage owner.
Dylan Draper-Dunn was walking the pug bitch along Gore Court Road, Sittingbourne, when he heard a man behind him mutter the words "my nan had one of those dogs. It was stolen".
He kept on walking, but moments later the man was in front of him unclasping the lead and scooping up the dog on Wednesday, January 23.
The 15-year-old tried to grab the pet, which answers to the name of Jerry, but it was thrown over a garden fence.
The thief then raised his fist at Dylan and threatened to "smash his face in" before jumping over the same fence.
The Westlands School pupil called his mum Tracey, and the mother-of-two, who was at the family home in Park Road, called the police.
Her partner John Dunn, 43, met up with Dylan and carried out a search of the area but to no avail. They are now offering a £500 reward.
Five other dogs have been reported stolen in Sittingbourne between Tuesday, January 22 and this Tuesday - although four of the animals now been found safe:
DS Jo Kirkham, from Kent Police, said: "We fully understand the devastating impact this has had on the owners and are following up a number of lines of enquiry in an effort to reunite them with their dogs.
"We also fully appreciate the anxiety that these thefts have created with dog owners in the area and we will continue to do everything in our power to put a stop to these crimes and arrest those responsible.
"We would like anybody who may have witnessed any of these thefts, seen this white van or who have any information at all to come forward and let us know, as even the smallest bit of information could help."
The man arrested on suspicion of theft has been released on police bail pending further inquiries until Wednesday, February 27.
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