POLICE are hunting a man and woman over the theft of a “much-loved family pet” from outside a home in Hargreaves St, Mornington, last week.
Bailey, a small, white shih-tzu cross, was let out from the front yard of his home by his owners about 2.30pm on Monday and disappeared a short time later.
Witnesses reported seeing a man and woman park their vehicles at either end of Hargreaves St in order to catch the frightened pet.
“They were seen chasing the dog up and down the street until it was picked up by a passer-by, who then handed it over to the couple after they stated they were the owners,” Senior Constable Brad Carroll said.
“The male was Caucasian, aged 30 to 40, and was driving a green or silver Ford Falcon XR6 sedan. The woman was older, also Caucasian and was driving a small white sedan or hatchback with faded paint.”
Senior Constable Carroll said several witnesses had telephoned Bailey’s owners in response to flyers put up around the neighbourhood with similar descriptions of the incident, however they had not left any contact details.
“She’s had several responses from people all stating the same or similar stories. But she hasn’t retained the details of who called, so we would ask those people to get in contact with us to help with our enquiries.
“Bailey has been desexed, microchipped and registered and his family is eager to have him returned.”
Senior Constable Carroll stressed the apparent theft appeared to be an isolated and opportunistic incident, and was not associated with internet “myths” of organised gangs targeting pets for use in dog fights.
“We would like reiterate there is no credibility to those Facebook rumours that have been circulating around and causing considerable angst in the community when none is needed,” he said.
“Those rumours are simply not true. There’s been hardly any incidents of dogs being stolen in the area, certainly none that have been reported to us.”
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or seen a man and woman in the area at the time fitting the descriptions is asked to call Mornington police on 5970 4900, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers.com.au