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Crooks are using ultra-violet paint to mark homes as targets for pet thefts, according to reports.
Police say that said concerns over the markings were “very credible” after several had been found on walls and gates in Leicestershire.
Missing pets website Dogs Lost reported a 170% rise in thefts last year. On one case a springer spaniel was nabbed from a farm in Hallaton last week but was rescued by armed officers.
Leicestershire Police said they had “identified UV paint or markings had been used on their outside wall or gate as a potential marker” and that “this was done to a number of houses in the village”.
The average asking price for a puppy has more than doubled in the past year, according to recent research.
Dog walkers have reportedly taken to wearing body cameras while taking pets out for exercise over theft fears.
Ten dogs a day are being stolen in the UK, while the country remains in lockdown.
Dog thieves have targeted walkers, gardens, kennels and homes and according to animal charities, with the pandemic bringing the worst year ever.
Police have warned the public to increase their vigilance as the dog theft epidemic in the UK is being driven by a massive rise in puppy prices.
In the US, Lady Gaga's bouncer was shot in the chest and her two French Bulldogs were taken by dog thieves.
People are being ‘gazumped’ for puppies with some now paying up to £4,000 for a pet.
Missing pets website ‘Dogs Lost’ has reported a 170% increase in the number of dogs missing across the UK since the start of the pandemic.
Debbie Matthews from Stolen and Missing Pets Alliance estimates ten dogs a day are being snatched.
Sir Bruce Forsyth’s daughter told The Mirror: “When lockdown happened everyone wanted a puppy so immediately that put prices up.
“At the start, people had their names down for a £1,000 puppy but they were being gazumped with someone offering £2,500.
“It is the biggest crime during Covid but many people are still unaware."
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