Concerns raised amid reports of attempted dog thefts in Elgin
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SEVERAL instances of attempted dognappings have been reported in Elgin this week with police confirming that they are carrying out enquiries.
Two dog owners posted publicly on Facebook within days of one another outlining the traumatic incidents and encouraging people to share the posts.
The first, posted to Facebook on July 28, amassed hundreds of shares and a number of comments.
It read: "Just to make everyone aware, an Irish man has just tried to steal our two dogs from our garden in Lhanbryde!
"Caught him along the back of our house with one already on the lead and attempting to catch the other."
On August 2, another Elgin dog owner posted on Facebook stating that two men had attempted to steal their dogs while out on a walk.
The post, which garnered over one thousand shares, read: "Two men tried to grab my dogs this morning at the woods near Hamilton Gardens.
"I had to plea that my dog was old and no use. Luckily my youngest dog is nervous of people he doesn't know so stayed well back. However, Lola is old and slow.
"My idea of a nightmare.
"Me and the dogs are home safe but pretty shaken up.
"Description - two men aged 26-30 driving an off orange colour van (transit van).
"Both men were about 5ft8 - 5ft10 and rough looking. Both men have brown hair. One man had a fade with longer hair on top."
Police confirmed that they had received one report of an attempted dog theft in the past week and that enquiries are still ongoing.
Inspector Neil Morrison said: "We are aware of rumours circulating that there have been a number of attempted dog thefts in Moray recently but at this time I can confirm that we have received one report of an attempted dog theft which was reported to police on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.
"We are carrying out enquiries as we know how distressing this must be for the dog owner.
"We work closely with partners such as the Scottish SPCA and will thoroughly investigate any instances of suspected criminality in order to bring perpetrators to justice.
"In addition, people should call 101 to report a stolen/missing dog and if they are witnessing what they believe is a crime taking place they should dial 999."
Police were also contacted by Moray MSP Richard Lochhead who expressed his concerns following the reports over the past week.
Mr Lochhead has urged anyone with any information to contact police as soon as possible.
He added: "I’ve been really concerned to hear of a number of dog theft attempts in the last week or so.
"It’s certainly causing some alarm and the blatant nature of the behaviour is unnerving.
“I’ve raised the issue with Moray’s Police Area Commander and sought feedback on this issue, which unfortunately appears to be ongoing.
"I know that there have been several instances posted on social media and the public are concerned about the welfare of their dogs.
"I’ve asked the police what action is being taken to deter these theft attempts and for any advice they can offer the public."