Police forces worked together across three counties to see a dog safely returned to his owner after being stolen from a farm.
Nottinghamshire Police was informed that a vehicle suspected to be carrying a stolen Springer Spaniel had been driven into the Newark area at around 11.40pm yesterday (Wednesday 3 March 2021).
The animal had been taken from a farm in the Hallaton area of Leicestershire at around 10.15pm and suspects had been traced in a vehicle but failed to stop for colleagues from Lincolnshire firearms unit.
Nottinghamshire initiated a pursuit utilising both forces operational support resources and the vehicle was followed through Newark before being abandoned in Besthorpe.
The stolen dog was located nearby unharmed.
A thorough area search was conducted involving firearms, dog units and the Newark response team but the offenders were not located.
Leicestershire Police are now carrying out enquiries, including in connection to the abandoned vehicle, in a bid to establish who was behind the attack.
Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “We’re taking dog thefts extremely seriously, especially at this current time when there appears to have been a rise in these crimes nationally.
“This incident shows how we work collaboratively with our colleagues across a wide area to track down any suspect and reach a positive conclusion for our victims.
“I’m glad that the dog was unharmed and that we were able to return him safely to his owner within two hours of being stolen.”
Jon Shield, Detective Chief Inspector at Lincolnshire Police, added: “This shows cross boarder collaboration at its best and we are proud to have played a part in getting the dog home safe.”
Detective Inspector Charles Edwards, from the South Leicester, Market Harborough and Wigston CID said: “Our officers are currently investigating an incident where a dog was taken from a farm in Hallaton at around 10pm yesterday (Wednesday 3 March).
“It was reported that a vehicle had driven onto the farm and the occupants took the dog before making off.
“We were later informed the vehicle had been involved in a pursuit in Nottinghamshire, before being abandoned. We were informed the dog was found inside it has since been returned to its owner.
“Our enquiries into the incident are ongoing and we would ask anyone with information to contact us, quoting reference 21*123644.”
Nottinghamshire Police continues to encourage people to take part in a local survey on dog thefts after an increase in crimes nationally.
Conducted by deputy police and crime commissioner, Emma Foody, the results will help determine the public’s fear of dog theft and support for tougher enforcement.