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Woman slashed by dog thieves

HERTFORDSHIRE POLICE have released an e-fit of a man wanted in relation to an alleged attack on a dog walker in Stevenage last month.

The man is one of two people who are wanted for questioning by detectives following the incident on Tuesday, April 1st.

The 36-year-old Stevenage woman had been walking her pedigree Bulldog in Peartree Park at about 12 noon, when two men approached her and tried to grab the dog. When the woman resisted, one of the thieves drew a knife and slashed her across the stomach before running off empty handed.

She was taken to Lister Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries and released later the same evening. The dog was unhurt.

Detective Sergeant Paul Brogden of Hertfordshire Police said: "This was a terrifying ordeal for the woman and a very serious incident, I would ask anyone who was in the area at the time of the offence to contact me urgently. These types of offences are extremely rare but people who own pedigree dogs are reminded to be vigilant."

Both attackers are described as being unkempt in appearance, white, with Irish accents. They are both around 40 years old and around 5 foot 10 inches tall.

The pictured man had mousy hair, which was cropped on top, and was wearing a thick thigh-length woollen type jacket with faded jeans.

The other man had dark brown, straight, collar-length hair and was wearing an army style camouflage jacket with blue jeans.

This attack is part of a escalating trail of theft of pedigree dogs across the country. Dog owners – particularly those of pedigree dogs – are urged to be vigilant and not to leave their dogs unattended in gardens or outside shops. Direct approaches to dog walkers are, as pointed out by DS Brogden, extremely rare but could be part of a worrying trend towards a new brand of dog theft.

* If you have any information call DS Brogden on 01462 425150
or crime stoppers on 0800 555111.

(* With thanks to the Stevenage Herald and Stevenage Comet newspapers)