NEWS AND COMMENT: This is an update on the viral news about the surge in dog thefts in the UK and I assume in other countries. The dramatic increase in dog thefts has been brought about by the Covid pandemic which has encouraged people to adopt small dogs on impulse to keep them company during long lockdowns. This has pushed up the price of purebred dogs and when that happens you distort the marketplace which has resulted in certain breeds of dog becoming very valuable which leads to theft. And when you have theft you have clever criminals discovering different ways to make their thievery more efficient.
In this instance police believe that dog thieves are using ultraviolet paint to mark homes as targets for a future dog theft. They decide that a particular home is ideal because there are dogs inside and perhaps they know that the owners take their dogs for a walk at a certain time of day and they are doing preparatory work.
Police officers in Leicestershire, UK are concerned because the paint markings are invisible in daylight but become visible when UV light is directed at the paint. Several UV paint marks have been found on walls and gates in the village of Hallaton.
It’s been reported that a springer spaniel called Lupin was stolen from a farm in Hallaton last Wednesday. The dog was rescued and reunited with their owner with the help of armed police officers.
The officers had identified UV paint markings on an outside wall or gate and these sorts of markings had been made on a number of houses in the village.
The RSPCA believe that thieves are taking orders from would be adopters. In order to fulfil those orders they steal dogs. It’s become a retail business but the retailer isn’t doing any purchasing. They are stealing instead thereby dramatically reducing their overheads and increasing their profit margins especially when they charge inflated prices for the dogs they steal. It appears to be more profitable than drug dealing for some criminals.