Search

Pet theft soaring in Barking and Dagenham

PUBLISHED: 09:30 20 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:39 20 August 2014

Lisa Levy was reunited with stolen tabby Houdini

Lisa Levy was reunited with stolen tabby Houdini

Archant

The number of animals reported stolen from Barking and Dagenham more than doubled in the first three months of this year, new figures show.

Number of animals reported stolen between January 2009 and March 2014

Dogs 53

Fish more than 47

Cats 5

Birds at least 4

Rabbits at least 5

Guinea Pigs 3

Terrapins 2

Bees 2 reported thefts 
of multiple insects

A total of 26 animals were snatched in March alone, while police received two reports of seized bees the month before.

Fewer than half that number were taken in January to March last year.

In fact, just 14 animals were stolen in the whole of 2013.

Among the less common creatures to go missing were a pair of terrapins reported stolen from Chadwell Heath in April 2013, while a pair of love birds disappeared from the same area in March this year.

53 dogs were reported stolen between January 2009 and March 2014. 53 dogs were reported stolen between January 2009 and March 2014.

In December 2012 the Post reported that Kylie Walker’s prized pug Annie had been stolen from her garden in Ellerton Road before being sold over the internet.

She was reunited with her £1,200 dog after staff at Finsbury Park vet found the microchip. Annie had been brought in for checks by a woman who bought her on the Gumtree website for £500.

The Post’s figures, obtained by a Freedom of Information request, show Annie was the second pug reported stolen in the final months of 2012 – the first went missing in September.

Lisa Levy, 68, of Maxey Road, Dagenham, told the Post her three-year-old tabby cat Houdini was stolen from her back garden in December last year – although, again, the story had a happy ending.

Number of reported stolen animals from Jan 2009 until March 2014 by ward

Abbey................................2

Alibon...............................3

Becontree.........................7

Chadwell Heath.............11

Eastbrook .......................38

Eastbury...........................3

Gascoigne ........................1

Goresbrook ...................14

Heath ...............................7

Longbridge .....................0

Mayesbrook .....................7

Parsloes ..........................4

River .................................5

Thames............................4

Valence.............................2

Village..............................6

Whalebone........................2

She believed Houdini was taken away in a van seen speeding off from the scene – but somehow the cat performed some escapology of his own, and was found by a friend three weeks later.

“It was absolutely heartbreaking [to lose him],” said Lisa, who lives with Houdini, another tabby called Angel, Scamp the poodle and a budgie, also called Lisa.

“I never thought I’d see him again. It was like losing my dad.

“He still goes out in the back garden because you can’t coop them up inside, but I get really worried whenever I call him in and he’s late.

Owner Kylie Walker was eventually reunited with Annie the pug who was stolen from her home in Dagenham in November 2012. Owner Kylie Walker was eventually reunited with Annie the pug who was stolen from her home in Dagenham in November 2012.

“Pet theft has become a real problem round here. There’s an alley that runs down the back and I had an attempted break-in last year so I fear the worst whenever Scamp goes quiet.”

A total of 47 fish were snatched between January 2009 and March 2014, including 20 koi carp reported stolen from Eastbrook ward in March.

But dogs are the targets of most abductions, with 53 reported stolen in the borough between January 2009 and March this year. Staffordshire bull terriers have proven the popular breed for criminals, with 19 reported missing in the period.

Eastbrook ward, which includes much of Rush Green and incorporates The Chase nature reserve, has seen the most reports of animal theft in Barking and Dagenham with 38 cases reported – more than the total of all other wards combined.

Arnot Wilson, 73 co-founder of Pet Theft Awareness, an organisation campaigning for tougher penalties for animal stealing, said: “A pet is much closer to its owner’s heart than an inanimate object, and yet people can get lighter sentences for dog theft than for stealing something like a car.

“The main theory for the rise in dog theft is the tightening up of scrap metal regulations, so many people turn to pet theft as an easier option.”

Read More

‘Lucky’ owner reunited with stolen pug in Dagenham
Plea to reunite owner with dog lost at Barking station
Revealed: Barking and Dagenham’s ‘worst street for dog fouling’

Latest Barking and Dagenham News Stories

Yesterday, 18:02

A Barking man has been charged with the murder of 34-year-old Daniel Adger, from South Ockendon in Essex.

Yesterday, 17:45

Work began today on the £2 million 50-metre swimming pool at Dagenham’s Becontree Leisure Centre.

Yesterday, 14:51

Dagenham and Rainham MP has criticised the Boundary Commission’s proposals to alter the current constituency boundaries.

Yesterday, 13:51

A creative week of dance and drama will be provided for the borough’s young people during half term in Barking by Studio 3 Arts.

Yesterday, 12:25

After more than £50 million worth of gold and jewellery was stolen in London last year, the Met is warning people to be vigilant against the theft of gold during Diwali.

Yesterday, 12:00

Since the government first announced the introduction of Universal Credit (UC) there have been concerns.

Yesterday, 08:29

A student from Barking has taken his first steps towards winning a place at America’s most prestigious university after winning an international prize.

Yesterday, 07:00

Experts believe one in six people across the UK will have a mental health crisis this week that could lead to them developing a serious disorder.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Barking and Dagenham Post
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now