Six people have been released on police bail following an operation by Suffolk Constabulary, which saw 80 suspected stolen dogs recovered from the West Meadows travellers’ site in Ipswich.
Officers spent at least ten hours at the site on Saturday 20th March and recovered 83 dogs of various breeds and ages, which investigators believe to have been stolen.
A 38-year-old man, two 34-year-old men and three women aged 46, 41 and 35 were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal following the operation.
They were all taken to Martlesham Police Investigation Centre for questioning and have subsequently been released on bail until Friday, 16 April, pending further enquiries.
The operation comes following a dramatic rise in the number of family pets being stolen, which are then sold on buyers.
A spokesperson for Suffolk Constabulary said that the force has been ‘working hard to identify the dogs’ owners, primarily through the use of scanning them for microchips in the first instance’.
The force has been working with other police forces as investigators believe that many of the dogs have been stolen from outside of Suffolk.
The spokesperson added:
‘Detectives would like to reassure all those people who have contacted Suffolk Police today to enquire as to whether their dog has been recovered that investigators will acknowledge everyone’s call or email if it has not been already.
‘Officers are aware that many people will be anxious to know if their dog has been recovered and politely ask for victims to bear with them as they expedite these enquiries.
‘Anyone who may have information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich, quoting reference: 13719/21’.
For more advice on buying a dog, visit the RSPCA’s website.
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