Three arrested after masked men with machetes steal Darlington family’s pet, but VIOLET is still missing 💔 #PetTheftReform
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.