The family were at home when the trio smashed open a patio door and stole beloved dog Violet, whose breed is being increasingly targeted by thieves.
Writing on Facebook after the terrifying incident, Ms Leslie said her children were heartbroken over the loss of their pet, adding: “Whoever has got her, I am begging you to bring her home, my boys can’t sleep, they are distraught.”
Following the theft, missing dog organisation DogLost said that there had been six similar incidents across the UK in recent weeks.
Figures from Direct Line Pet Insurance suggest there has been a rapid rise recently in the number of French bulldogs being stolen, with 61 taken from their owners last year, representing a 27 per cent year on year increase.
A spokeswoman for Durham Constabulary said that three men from the Darlington area had been arrested under suspicion of aggravated burglary in connection with the incident.
The men have been released under investigation while enquiries are on-going.
Detective Sergeant Grant Cockerill said: “This was a terrifying incident for the victim, whose young children were also in the property at the time.”
- Anyone with information about Violet’s whereabouts is asked to contact police on non-emergency number 101 quoting incident number 451 of October 31.
- Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
VIOLET WAS SOLD IN GLASGOW STOLEN FROM DARLINGON – 174 miles from home!
Update from owner: After a 5 hour journey thanks to my terrible sat nav skills I am so so happy to say we have arrived in Scotland and we’ve got our Violet back. Had a phone call from a vets in Glasgow to say a lady had taken Violet in to be microchipped and when she was scanned it came up with our chip. The lady bought her 4 weeks ago for her Daughter and they did not know she had been stolen. I feel awful at how upset they were but our baby had to come home to my boys and her Mama. She is fit and well and has been looked after in a lovely home. People kept telling me she wouldn’t be found and to forget about finding her but I knew my prayers would be answered. No words to describe how happy we all are and grateful to God for guiding my baby home 💜
Happy Ending – moral of the story, please please please, if you find, buy or rescue a dog or cat please get the microchip registration checked at your vets. They won’t do this automatically as they don’t have the time to help missing and stolen pets get home.
#ScanMe #CheckThatChip VetsGetScanning.co.uk