Published: 11:58, 02 May 2021
| Updated: 20:43, 02 May 2021
A man tried to steal a dog near Aylesham weeks before Julia James was killed on a dog walk.
An appeal was placed in Nonington Parish Council's magazine in March after two dog-walkers were approached in broad daylight.
The message reads: "Dog owners are warned to be vigilant when your dog is outside the house. Your dog cannot be safely left unsupervised even in your own garden!
"Today (Tuesday, March 16) two dog-walkers were approached-in broad daylight - by a man in his 60's, from a black BMW in the lanes between Nonington and Aylesham, asking to exchange their pet dog for cigarettes and did they want to get rid of the dog anyway.
"The advice is not to be alone, if possible. Extra precautions should be taken such as walking with a stick, keeping your dog close and on a lead, carrying an alarm and having your mobile phone on and fully charged.
"Please can you report any such approaches to police, taking careful note of any car number plates and other identifying details."
Mrs James was a mother of two and a PCSO for Kent Police.
She was 53-years-old and died from serious head injuries while out walking her dog - but the reason for her death has not yet been confirmed as police continue to hunt her killer.
Her uncle Michael Turnbull has also paid tribute and pleaded with the public to help find her attacker he describes as a 'worthless excuse for human being'.
Assistant Chief Constable Tom Richards revealed at a press conference earlier this week that police are leaving open the possibility Mrs James was attacked by a complete stranger although stressed they were extremely rare, or that the suspect may have met Mrs James – who previously worked in Ashford and Tenterden – through her job.
None of her possessions had been taken and her beloved Jack Russell Toby was by her side, unharmed.
The National Crime Agency has also been drafted in to help with the investigation and officers have been searching fields for a possible weapon.
Anyone with information should call police on 0800 0514 526.
Video footage can be submitted online at https://mipp.police.uk/operation/4601020121F07-PO1.