A puppy stolen in Isleworth last week has been safely reunited with its family.
Bentley, a 12-week old puppy, was stolen from the front of a van in Isleworth on September 24, with its owner just feet away.
Owners Fiona, 39, and Graham, 40, of Croydon, were devastated at the theft, but delighted when Bentley was returned to them.
Fiona said: “It was sort of like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
“It just felt a little bit surreal. I was a bit shocked really, because even though you’re trying to stay positive, in the back of your mind you’re just thinking it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
“We didn’t really think we would ever get him back, so when we did it was just crazy.”
After the theft, Fiona and Graham contacted the Met Police and enlisted the help of social media pages such as Dog Lost on Facebook.
Their breakthrough came just two days after Bentley was taken, when nearby CCTV footage of the incident enabled them to obtain a picture of a man holding Bentley outside a garage.
The couple searched the area and had to chase after a person they suspected knew something about the crime, before they eventually tracked down the address of the man pictured holding Bentley.
The couple attended the address with the Metropolitan police and the youth was forced to return the dog, which had luckily been kept safely at a different address.
The couple were reunited with Bentley at around 10pm on September 26.
The couple’s children, aged 15, eight and six, weren’t part of the search and were given a happy surprise on Saturday night when they were reunited with Bentley.
Bentley was slightly shaken up by the incident but has now returned to his usual self.
Fiona praised the work of the Metropolitan Police, who she said spent hours on September 26 helping them track down the stolen dog.
She said: “I can’t explain how good they were. They were just really lovely, and really on the case.”
Fiona and Graham decided not to press charges against the youth that stole Bentley.