Published: 12:16, 11 March 2021
| Updated: 18:52, 11 March 2021
A dog thief wielding a stick was bitten by the pet he was trying to steal as he confronted its owner in remote woodland.
The attempted robbery took place at Blean Nature Reserve, near Canterbury, yesterday afternoon.
Police say the owner of the dog was approached at 3pm by a man holding a stick, who demanded he hand over his pet.
He refused to give up the dog, called Lex, who is reported to have bitten the thief on the left hand during the incident.
The dog walker's wife took to Facebook to warn of her husband's ordeal, telling how he had been left shaken.
She described the attacker as a "scumbag" who had left them fearful of walking their dogs alone.
The suspect is described as in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5ft 10ins, white, with short, mousey-brown hair. He was wearing a snood.
Police are appealing for witnesses.
DI Julien Lawton, of Kent Police's Criminal Investigation Department, said: "An investigation into this offence is ongoing and residents will see officers in the area.
"We are very keen to hear from anyone who saw this suspect in the area at the time or who has dashcam or domestic CCTV which may assist our enquiries.
"Anyone with information is urged to call us on 01843 222289, quoting reference 10-0884."
The incident comes amid growing concern about what has been termed 'dognapping'.
Between October 2019 and September 2020, 121 dogs were stolen in Kent, with not a single person charged in connection with the thefts.
Just 24 of the dogs were returned to their owners.