This is the moment police found a terrified puppy cowering in a garden hours after it was snatched by dognappers.
The officers’ bodycam footage shows French bulldog Moxley being rescued from the address in Kings Norton, Birmingham, before they reunited him with his delighted owner.
The footage shows one officer holding the four-month-old dog and challenging the householder.
After entering the house in Kings Norton, Birmingham, to retrieve the stolen puppy, officers’ first thought was to identify Moxley and get him back to his owner. Pictured Sergeant Sharon Brain
An officer can be heard saying to the female homeowner: ‘We believe this dog was stolen in burglary, a burglary last night, Now it’s in your house.
‘So what you told me earlier half hour ago is that someone delivered this dog to your address.’
The woman, who was later cautioned for for handling stolen goods, replies: ‘That is the truth.’
Officers found the puppy hours after he went missing in a house with a woman who denied knowing that Moxley had been stolen
Heartwarming footage then shows police with Moxley and his rightful owner Gabriel Foley who was delighted to have his faithful friend back home.
Mr Foley said: ‘He’s fine now but doesn’t like being left alone. Before he used to sleep downstairs but now he has to be in the bedroom. But I think he has recovered.
‘I was dealing with a number of distraught people, including myself, so it was really good to get him back and so quickly as well.’
The police team behind the rescue, which took place in January, won the Neighbourhood Excellence accolade at a West Midlands Police ceremony last week.
For the past 18 months, officers from the Kings Norton team have also been targeting offenders from a postcode gang who were linked to drug dealing and violence.
The team includes PC Bethany Friend who was pictured cuddling Moxley after his rescue and return home.
Sergeant Sharon Brain said: ‘It’s one of those lovely moments you go into policing for: the family were devastated at being burgled and losing their beloved pet dog but a few hours later we’d got him back.
Moxley’s owner Gabriel Foley and two of the police officers involved with the rescue make a fuss of the puppy after he was returned home
Mr Foley said Moxley was fine but did not like to be left alone following the dognapping
‘From police intelligence and our own experience we checked out a few addresses on the lookout for Moxley and found him in a back garden.
‘A woman their claimed someone had dropped the dog off just 30 minutes earlier which seemed very suspicious.
‘Poor Moxley was shaking. He was obviously missing home. So I took him straight back to his rightful owners who naturally were delighted.’
PC Bethany Friend cuddles the French Bulldog puppy after his safe return home
Dognappings have been a persistent problem for police during the pandemic, as home working fuelled the demand for dogs.
Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to clamp down on the spate of pet theft earlier this year.
Criminals who steal pets are currently prosecuted under property theft laws but campaigners have demanded the introduction of separate legislation for the crime with harsher penalties.
According to a report from the pet theft taskforce, 1,504 offences of dog theft were reported to police forces across England and Wales in 2020 – at a time when lockdown led to a sharp fall in burglaries and muggings.
In March, DogLost, a charity that helps owners whose animals are taken, said it had recorded a 170 per cent increase in the crime, rising from 172 pets reported stolen in 2019 to 465 in 2020.
The taskforce report also cites evidence from Pets4Home that the average price paid for a pup rose from £810 in 2019 to £1,875 last year.