Are people really attempting to steal dogs from local beaches?
In the past few months there have been a spate of posts on local services and buy/sell type groups describing an attempted dog theft.
The posts follow a similar story, where one or more men, usually from outside of the area, jump from un unmarked van and ask questions about the victims dog before attempting to steal the animal in question.
So, is there a spate of attempted dog thefts in the area?
We examine both sides of the story...
Soaring Prices of Puppies and Dogs
The price of puppies has more than doubled during lockdown with dogs costing almost £2,000 on average.
Figures from the Pets4Homes website, based on about 150,000 adverts, showed the average price being asked in 2020 was around £1,800. During the same period in 2019, the average price was £850.
Popular breeds have seen even sharper price increases, and puppies are often selling for £3,000 or more, according to a leading online marketplace.
With bricks-and-mortar shops transacting and holding very little in cash these days, and with pubs and restaurants being closed, there is a possibility that thieves would turn to dog abduction as an easy source of income.
Was there an attempted dog theft in Seaton Sluice?
The above was posted and shared to "Lost and Found Pets Northumberland" and countless other groups.
We reached out to the post's originator for further comment but received no reply.
Have any other dog abduction events occurred?
We noticed that a lot of these posts always quoted that the attempted abduction had happened to a friend, or relative.
On Wednesday, South Beach Radio opened an appeal to asked if anyone had actually experienced an attempted dog abduction personally.
The post was seen by over 5,000 people.
Nobody commented to say it had happened to them
Nobody got in touch by e-mail.
Northumbria Police Investigation
We spoke with Jack at Northumbria Police Media Team, who confirmed:
"We have investigated and found no evidence of these dog thefts"
People should continue walking their dogs as they normally would, remaining as vigilante as they should at all times and if they have any concerns, do contact the police.
Get Your Story Heard
If you have been the victim of a dog abduction attempt, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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