A DOG was stolen from its owner in a busy street after a thief threatened its owner with a gun.
The three-month-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier was stolen at around 10.30pm on Tuesday, June 7, as his owner was walking along Kennedy Road, in Ealing, west London.
The unnamed 23-year-old man was walking eastwards along the road with his puppy and a 22-year-old female friend when he noticed someone approach him from behind.
A spokesman from Ealing police said: "He turned around and saw that the robber was holding a black handgun in his hand. The robber said, ‘drop the lead,' and the victim did as he was told."
The thief then took up the lead and walked off with the puppy, described as "a gold-coloured, English and Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross breed", valued at £250.
The robber is described as black, aged around 20 years old, 6ft tall, and was wearing dark-coloured clothing with a hooded top. He was last seen making his way along Kennedy Road towards nearby Greenford Avenue.
It is not known at this stage why there was a three-week delay in the crime being reported, although it is possible that the owner was hoping to receive a ransom demand for the return of Bailey. The owner has since notified the police and also the missing dog helpline DogLost.
This is believed to be the first time that a dog has been stolen from its owner at gunpoint. Two years ago a woman from Hertfordshire was assaulted in a park in Stevenage by two men who tried to steal her dog and stabbed her with a knife when she refused to hand the dog over. The latest theft in Ealing indicates a disturbing trend in the escalation of dog theft and shows the extent to which some individuals intent on stealing a dog will go.
* Anyone who may be able to help Bailey be reunited with his owner should call DC Woodcock at Ealing Police on 020-8246 9145, quoting crime reference number 2519405 or call DogLost on 01909-733366 Website: www.doglost.co.uk