Discovery of animals came after a search of West Meadows Travellers’ site in Ipswich
More than 80 suspected stolen dogs have been seized and six people arrested after police investigating a series of pet thefts carried out a raid in Suffolk.
Officers said the animals were found during a 10-hour search of the West Meadows Travellers’ site on the outskirts of Ipswich on Saturday afternoon.
Eighty-three suspected stolen dogs of various breeds and ages were recovered.
Three women aged 35, 41 and 46, two 34-year-old men and a 38-year-old man – all from Ipswich – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal.
All six were taken to Martlesham police investigation centre where they remain for questioning.
Suffolk police said they will now begin identifying the dogs’ owners and will be liaising with nearby forces.
DCS Eamonn Bridger said dog theft had become a “particular problem” across the country since the first lockdown 12 months ago owing to the value and demand for certain breeds.
He added: “We recognise that these crimes have a significant impact on the families affected and we will continue to disrupt criminals wherever we have information that we can act upon.
“I know many victims of these crimes will be anxious to know whether or not we have recovered their pet.
“I would like to reassure them that we are working as quickly as possible to identify who all the dogs belong to and aim to reunite them with their owners as soon as we can.”
A dispersal order was put in place at the site to “minimise the likelihood of any further crime or disorder”, the force said.
The order gives police officers the power to exclude a person from an area for a period of up to 48 hours.
Anyone who may have information regarding dog thefts is asked to contact South CID at Landmark House in Ipswich, quoting reference: 13719/21.
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