Dozens of stolen dogs recovered in police raid on travellers' site

The travellers site on the outskirts of Ipswich where 83 dogs were rescued yesterday.

The travellers site on the outskirts of Ipswich where 83 dogs were rescued yesterday. All are thought to have been stolen. Six arrests have been made. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Eighty-three dogs – all thought to have been stolen – were retrieved from a travellers’ site in Suffolk. 

Their discovery has given renewed hope for pet owners in Cambridgeshire where there has been a rise in the number of dog thefts – and attempted thefts – over the past year.  

Between February 16 and 23, police say that there were several attempted dog thefts in the north of Cambridgeshire, in particular the villages of Thorney and Whittlesey. 

And only last week a woman from Doddington said she was devastated and is now “scared to be home alone” after her nine-week-old puppy was stolen in broad daylight. 

Six arrests - three men and three women -were made yesterday (Saturday) when a large deployment of officers executed warrants at West Meadows, on the outskirts of Ipswich.  


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Police were there for almost 10 hours as they conducted thorough searches and as a result they recovered 83 dogs of various breeds and ages, which are suspected to be have been stolen. 

A Suffolk police spokesman said inquiries “will now commence to identify owners of the dogs and Suffolk Police will be liaising with other forces in the region”.  

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Detective Chief Superintendent Eamonn Bridger, Head of Crime, said: “This was a highly successful and significant policing operation. 

“I hope it demonstrates how seriously Suffolk Police is taking the issue of dog theft.  

“We recognise that these crimes have a significant impact on the families affected and we will continue to disrupt criminals wherever we have information that we can act upon.” 

He said: “This type of crime has become a particular problem across the entire country since the first lockdown began 12-months ago, due to the value and demand for certain breeds.  

“Our officers have worked tirelessly to develop intelligence and identify those who are believed to be responsible.” 

Police will now work “as quickly as possible to identify who all the dogs belong to and aim to reunite them with their owners as soon as we can”. 

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