Man warns of attempted ‘dog snatch’ in Romford

A concerned dog owner is warning others to be careful when walking their pooches in Romford after claiming two strangers tried to snatch one of his dogs.

Stephen Mitchell, 36, had unleashed terrier crosses Max, five, and Boris, three, in Lodge Farm Park, last Saturday afternoon at around 3pm, when he says they were approached by a young couple.

The pair, both in their 20s, “bent down and stroked” the animals when the man made a grab for one.

Said Stephen: “He turned to the girl and said ‘do you want a free dog?’, he then reached out to grab one of them. Luckily I had heard what he said and quickly managed to pull my dog away from him.”

Shocked Stephen said the pair then legged it in the direction of Romford Town Centre.

“If the dogs had been out with my mum I dread to think what the outcome would have been,” said Stephen, from Romford. “Our dogs are dearly loved members of our family and if either of them were stolen like this, we would be devastated.

“Please be vigilant of who is paying attention to your pets while you are out with them. I would hate for this to happen to anyone else, as the outcome could be unthinkable.”

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Stephen, who has yet to report the incident to police, said his mother - in her 70s - is now too frightened to walk the dogs alone.

He added: “It is typical of the type of people you saw looting at the weekend. The ‘I’ll take what I want generation’. Where will it end?”

The man was black and his girlfriend white. They were both wearing tracksuits, according to Stephen.