Alan Williams was ambushed in the middle of a street at Ormeau by three men who got out of a car and tried to steal his French bulldog, Chilli. Picture: Jerad Williams
Alan Williams was ambushed in the middle of a street at Ormeau by three men who got out of a car and tried to steal his French bulldog, Chilli. Picture: Jerad Williams

Shock new tactic thieves using to steal dogs

BRAZEN thieves have attempted to snatch an expensive pure-bred dog from its owner on a Gold Coast street in the latest of a worrying spate of pet thefts.

Ormeau resident Alan Williams says three men tried to take his six-month-old French Bulldog Chilli from him when he was out walking her last week.

"I was walking my French Bulldog pup and there was a car that drove past and then turned around and came back to us," Mr Williams said.

"They slowed right down and I thought maybe they were looking for an address, but then three men jumped out of the car while the woman in the driver's seat stayed with the engine still running.

Alan Williams and his French Bulldog, Chilli. Picture: Jerad Williams
Alan Williams and his French Bulldog, Chilli. Picture: Jerad Williams

"They came up to me and started asking if she was pure bred, how much she was worth, where I lived.

"Then one of them tried to take her to the car, saying his wife loved dogs like this and he wanted to take her to the car so his wife could have a pat.

"I had to sort of barge my way through them to get away, it was a really dicey situation."

After Mr Williams and Chilli got past the men, they walked off a fast pace and hid in a driveway.

It was on an open, friendly street like this one that the attempt happened. Picture: Jerad Williams
It was on an open, friendly street like this one that the attempt happened. Picture: Jerad Williams

 

It's not the first incident of its kind in recent months.

Late last month a Yatala woman's 10-week-old Corgi went missing for a number of days before pet detectives found the puppy dead under "suspicious circumstances".

In June a family dog narrowly escaped the clutches of a brazen pet thief by jumping from the stranger's car.

The Upper Coomera family had to watch on in terror as a man in his 20s bundled their French Bulldog Princess into a ute.

A pet detective from Missing and Stolen Pets Queensland said breeds such as French Bulldogs are in high demand at the moment.

The detective said French Bulldogs without papers can fetch up to $4500 and pure breeds with papers up to $9000.

"There is a network out there that deal with the French Bulldogs that they exchange for drugs, get on-sold and often they don't even stay in Queensland, they get moved down south," she said.

"If they're not desexed they'll breed them for money.

"A lot of people don't care where their pets have come from because they are very fashionable to have at the moment."

An expert says French bulldogs are being targeted right now. Picture: Jerad Williams
An expert says French bulldogs are being targeted right now. Picture: Jerad Williams

Police and the RSPCA were unable to give a number of how many stolen dogs have been reported this year.

Dogs are classified as "property" under the criminal code and the RSPCA does not have the jurisdiction to record or investigate reports.

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RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty said people whose pets have been stolen should report them to the police.

"The RSPCA investigates 22,000 cases of cruelty and neglect every year, we can't be investigating thefts as it doesn't fall within our jurisdiction," he said.

"That is certainly a job for the police."

A Queensland police spokesman said they take pet cases seriously and will investigate if a report is made.

"Where there is evidence of an offence of stealing or harm to a pet police take these matters

extremely seriously and will investigate fully," they said.