Dog walker injured during attempted theft of their pet on country lane near Pickering

Police in Ryedale have appealed for anyone who witnessed an attack on a dog walker that is believed to have been an attempted theft of the animal to come forward with information.

The incident took place on a country lane on the outskirts of Pickering

North Yorkshire Police said that the dog's owner, whose gender has not been disclosed, was assaulted by a man who attempted to snatch their pet on a country lane on the outskirts of Pickering.

The incident took place on Pluntrain Dale Lane - which is an unmarked track but close to two A roads and a short walk from residential areas - just after 7pm on Monday.

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The dog walker sustained minor injuries.

No description of the suspect of any vehicle linked to him was provided by the force, who claimed they had deployed a 'large police response' to the scene.

Enquiries are ongoing.

Anyone with any information should contact 101 quoting incident number 12210069450, or email the investigating officer at [email protected]

The incident comes after South Yorkshire Police warned dog owners that too few victims of theft or attempted theft are reporting the crimes, and that the large numbers of social media posts circulating do not match up with genuine reports received by the force.

Officers in Doncaster were responding to the attempted snatch of a dog from the suburb of Armthorpe last weekend when they issued the advice.

The statement read: "Please remain alert and vigilant at all times. Mainly due to lockdowns, dog prices have shot up and therefore dogs are being stolen to breed.

"There was an attempt theft in Armthorpe, luckily they didn't succeed. Please be aware that the van involved is a small white Fiat Fiorino."

They urged any victims to make an official report to police rather than just sharing details on Facebook.

"The issue of reported dog thefts is a national one, but the key is that individuals must report suspicious behaviour or dog thefts to police so that we can better understand this type of crime, where it’s happening and undertake enquiries to identify those responsible.

“We are aware of lots of anecdotal information on social media, but few incidents are reported to police.