Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pets Are Being Stolen in Burglaries and Sold on Internet, RSPCA Warns

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pets Are Being Stolen in Burglaries and Sold on Internet, RSPCA Warns

Article excerpt

Byline: Matt Watts

HUNDREDS of pets are being stolen to order by organised gangs in London who target expensive animals to sell online, charity bosses warned today.

The warning came as figures released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed animals worth more than PS130,000 have been stolen in the past three years.

The RSPCA warned thieves were targeting expensive pets during house burglaries. Among stolen animals reported to the Met were 20 Siberian goldfinches worth PS4,000 taken from a garden shed.

Twelve Japanese koi carp worth PS6,000 were fished by three men from a garden pond, while thieves took four carp worth PS4,000 in another raid.

One criminal climbed a garden fence to steal a rare Sulcata tortoise.

Dogs, rabbits and horses were among other animals targeted by thieves in a spate of raids which the RSPCA has described as "very concerning".

A spokeswoman said: "We have seen criminals targeting properties known to have expensive animals while others are stolen in house burglaries along with other things of value. …

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