12-year-old boys arrested after an attempted puppy theft in Hemel Hempstead
Police warn dog owners to be vigilant - but no further action will be taken
Police are reminding dog owners to be vigilant when out walking after an attempted dog theft in Hemel Hempstead.
Officers were called just after 11am on Monday, April 12, to a report of an attempted dog theft in Apsley.
A woman was walking her female Shih Tzu puppy when she was approached by two young boys in Stationers Place.
The boys attempted to engage her in conversation when they picked the puppy up and removed her lead.
The victim managed to keep hold of her pet and the boys ran off. The puppy was unharmed and is safe with her owner.
Officers immediately attended and a short while later, detained two boys at Apsley train station who matched the description given by the victim.
The boys, both aged 12 and from Hemel Hempstead, were arrested on suspicion of theft and taken into custody.
Statements were taken and CCTV enquiries were carried out, however due to a lack of witnesses and no CCTV covering the area of the incident, all lines of enquiry were exhausted and the investigation could not progress any further.
As a result, no further action was taken.
Inspector Jeff Scott, who leads the Dacorum Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: "This was an understandably upsetting incident for the dog owner and has left her feeling shaken.
“We take dog theft, and attempted dog theft, very seriously and after receiving the call about this incident, we immediately attended and detained two suspects nearby.
“They were interviewed but were later released with no further action. Information has been recorded and the local team have been made aware of the incident.
“The issue of dog theft has had widespread coverage in the national media and we’d like to remind owners to continue being vigilant when out walking.
“We urge you to report any suspicious activity to us so we can build a picture and take action where necessary.
“Please be aware of your surroundings and always carry a mobile phone with you. If someone approaches you and appears interested in your dog, walk away and ensure your pet is secured on a lead.
“You could also consider carrying a whistle so you have the option of quickly alerting others nearby if you need to."
You can report information online or by calling 101, if a crime is in progress or someone is in danger, always dial 999.