The rise of the dog-napper

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Dog thefts are on the increase and it’s been blamed on current trends for owning “designer dogs”, popularised by celebrities from Cheryl Cole to The Rock. Some breeds can fetch hundreds or even thousands of pounds on the black market – and felons are taking advantage, according to campaigners and insurance companies.

Dog theft have increased since 2012.

And insurance firm Direct Line is the latest to publish figures, from police forces in England and Wales, showing that 121 more puppies were stolen in 2017 than the year before with virtually 2,000 reported to the police last year.

These numbers were released under Freedom of Information( FOI) legislation from 38 police forces in England and Wales.

There are 44 police forces around the UK with Scotland and Northern Ireland each having a single centralised force.

The dogs stolen from their owners’ homes Stolen dog observed 100 miles from home Six pets stolen from dog walker’s van Image caption About 200 cats were stolen in England and Wales 2015 Staffordshire policeman terrier Crossbreed French bulldog Chihuahua Jack Russell Image caption Crossbreeds like cockerpoos and sproodles are popular pets Crossbreed Labrador retriever Staffordshire bull terrier Jack Russell Yorkshire terrier Image caption Socialite Paris Hilton is frequently watched with her pet chihuahua by her side

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