A builder said he’s ‘over-the-moon’ to be reunited with his dog after his van was stolen with his dog inside.
On Tuesday 23rd February, Andrew Ash had his vehicle stolen from Musters Road in West Bridgford, Northampton at around 15:40 hours.
As well as containing £1,000 worth of tools, also inside was Max, his beloved Welsh Terrier.
Mr Ash, 49, from Carlton, said he was heartbroken:
“I had come back outside to the van and realised that there was a car in its place.
“I was confused at first then it dawned on me that something awful had happened. My thoughts instantly turned to Max and the devastation kicked in, I thought he would be gone forever.
“I’ve had had Max for for six years since he was an eight-week-old puppy. He goes everywhere with me, it’s just me and him, I call us the dynamic duo!”
Nottinghamshire Police launched an investigation but eager to locate Max and his van, Mr Ash began searching and managed to locate the vehicle close to the scene with all the tools still inside. However, Max was nowhere to be seen.
Officers from West Bridgford response team continued their enquiries and together with intelligence and investigative work, they found a vehicle suspected to have been involved with the original theft.
This led to a 47-year-old man and 17-year-old girl being arrested on suspicion of theft of a vehicle and theft of a dog. On Thursday 25th February, a 48-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft.
Max was then located a short time later after he wandered into a garage near to the arrest in Hucknall.
Mr Ash said:
“I can’t express how happy I was when I took that call, for two days since I’d lost him, I’d had no sleep and I honestly thought he’d be dead.
“I travelled to the garage and there he was, running straight up to me like nothing had happened.
“I’m so glad to have him back. I’ll continue to treasure him every day.”
“I’ve received so much support from the police and from local people, I can’t thank everyone for the way they’ve rallied round and tried to help me. It really has shown me that humanity is not lost, despite what happened.”
West Bridgford Sergeant Declan Bourne, said:
“It’s horrible to experience a theft of any nature but especially when it’s a beloved pet. We understand how much they mean to their owners, we treat them like children a lot of the time, so we knew how important it was to get Max returned home.
“We’re just grateful that he wasn’t injured especially when he was roaming the streets on his own and that this incident has resulted in the victim having all of his belongings safely returned back to him.”
“We’ll always take these crimes seriously and do everything we can to find out who’s behind them in order to get the best possible outcome.”
Nottinghamshire Police said the three arrested people have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.
Officers have recently urged dog owners to be vigilant following high-profile incidents of dog thefts nationally where it is believed criminals are exploiting the huge hike in prices and demand for puppies during the coronavirus restrictions.
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