Three men have been arrested near Trowbridge today following the theft of seven dogs from a property in Bristol overnight.
Officers and staff from Wiltshire Police’s Operation Fortitude, a specialist unit targeting the more serious offenders across the county, worked in conjunction with Avon and Somerset Police after the animals were reported stolen.
Fortitude officers attended a location in Southwick and arrested three men – aged 18, 48 and 51 – on suspicion of theft. They are currently in custody at Melksham Police Station.
A total of 12 dogs, including the ones stolen from Bristol and five others also believed to have been stolen, were seized, along with a number of weapons and two vehicles.
Sergeant Garry Epps, from Operation Fortitude, said: “This was a fantastic example of cross-border partnership working and we were pleased to achieve such a positive result for our colleagues in Avon and Somerset.
“Not only have we been able to retrieve the seven dogs stolen in yesterday’s theft, but we also now have five other dogs which can hopefully be returned to their rightful owners.”
Sergeant Catherine Leigh, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a prime example of an intelligence-led policing operation between two forces which has resulted in the swift recovery of these dogs.
“We’re delighted they have now been returned to their rightful owners and will be carrying out a full investigation into the incident.”