Dog owner's theft ordeal

A DOG breeder who has had thieves steal pedigrees worth more than £11,000 today told of his sadness over losing the animals.

A DOG breeder who has had thieves steal pedigrees worth more than £11,000 today told of his sadness over losing the animals.

Barry Hales was still getting over three previous thefts in the past 18 months when thieves escaped with three pedigree Chihuahuas worth £4,000 in the latest raid.

The 53-year-old stroke sufferer, who has bred dogs for 35 years, has been forced to consider installing cameras at his kennels in London Road, Capel St Mary, and has offered a £1,000 reward for any information which leads to a conviction.

He said: “They [the thieves] came over the back fence.

“The pen was locked so they climbed over the pen but the shed door wasn't locked.”

The latest theft was discovered on Sunday morning and Suffolk police has launched an investigation.

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The Chihuahuas were stolen between 5pm on Saturday, December 29, and 8.15am the following day.

A fence panel was moved to gain access to the rear yard.

All three dogs are bitches. One is four years old and a red sable colour. The other two are both 18 months old. One is cream and the other is apricot-coloured.

Previous thefts have seen seven Pug puppies, worth £1,000 each, snatched and a miniature Pincer show dog worth £500 stolen.

“I've had the police here several times,” said Mr Hales, who has had four strokes, two heart attacks and undergoes dialysis twice each week.

“It's upsetting. One of the Chihuahuas was four years old and you get attached to them.”

He said he believes the same people have been responsible for all four thefts and was looking at increasing security at the kennels.

He said: “We've locked the runs and we're going to put cameras up now.”

Police want to hear from anyone who has been offered the Chihuahuas for sale or who may have information about the theft.

Those with information are asked to call Pc Debbie Tyrrell at Suffolk police's East Babergh safer neighbourhood team on 01473 613500.

Have you been the victim of a pedigree theft? Have you been offered one of the dogs for sale? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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N Chihuahuas are good companion dogs, known as intensely loyal to owners

N The average weight is 1kg to 3kg, and height 15cms to 23cms

N Chihuahuas have a trademark short nose

N They are active dogs and need a daily walk

N They are named after the Mexican state Chihuahua

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