As police line-ups go it is probably cuter than most: rather than the usual suspects, one force has released mugshots of stolen dogs it hopes to reunite with their owners.
A video featuring 48 dogs of varying breeds and ages was also released by Suffolk police, who are trying to track down the dogs’ owners after a successful theft investigation.
The police recovered 83 dogs in March, including at least three spaniel puppies, a young Dachshund and a sheepdog due a trip to the dog groomers.
Since seizing the dogs following the investigation, officers have been trying to identify the owners of the 83 canines. However, due to the lack of identifying features and information, the process has proved challenging. As of Tuesday none of the animals had been reunited with their owners.
Now the investigation team is asking potential owners, who have not contacted the constabulary, to get in contact.
DCI Nicola Wallace, the senior investigating officer, said: “We are keen to hear from anyone who believes any of the dogs in the images may be theirs.
“During the last few weeks officers have been liaising with other police forces around the country, as well as conducting a number of other inquiries, in order to establish where the dogs may have originated from.”
Proof of ownership, as laid out on the Suffolk police website, includes records of reports of dogs lost or stolen to police or on other websites, microchipping details, and pictures showing dogs’ distinctive markings, scars or other distinguishing features.
Six people were initially arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal following an operation last month that discovered the 83 dogs, of various breeds and ages, at an address in West Meadows, Ipswich.
All six individuals, a 39-year-old man, two 34-year-old men, and three women, aged 46, 41 and 35, were taken to Martlesham police station for questioning. They were released on bail until 16 April, pending further inquiries. All were from the Ipswich area.
Four of the six – the men aged 34 and 39, and women, 41 and 46, – later had their bail date extended to 17 June.
The remaining two were released and will face no further action.
A spokesperson for Suffolk police said: “Anyone who believes they can provide proof of ownership should email the investigation team by 24 May providing a full name, contact details and the image number which relates to the dogs.”
All inquiries can be made to email@example.com.
Anyone who has information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House, in Ipswich, quoting reference 13719/21.