Max Welsh terrier
PICTURED: Max the Welsh terrier is now back at home in Carlton

A builder from Carlton who had his van stolen while his beloved dog was inside says he’s ‘over the moon’ to have him returned safely home.

Andrew Ash’s vehicle was stolen from Musters Road in West Bridgford at around 3.40pm on Tuesday (February 23).

As well as containing £1,000 worth of tools, it also had inside his pride and joy – his pet Welsh Terrier, Max.

Mr Ash, 49, said he was heartbroken: “I had come back outside to the van and realised that there was a car in its place.

“I was confused at first then it dawned on me that something awful had happened. My thoughts instantly turned to Max and the devastation kicked in, I thought he would be gone forever.

“I’ve had had Max for for six years since he was an eight-week-old puppy. He goes everywhere with me, it’s just me and him, I call us the dynamic duo!”

Officers from Nottinghamshire Police began investigating and meanwhile Mr Ash managed to locate his van close to the scene with all the tools inside but Max no where to be found.

The response team continued their enquiries and together with intelligence and investigative work, they located a vehicle suspected to have been involved with the original theft.

It led to the arrest of a 47-year-old man and 17-year-old girl on suspicion of theft of a vehicle and theft of a dog. A 48-year-old woman was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft on Thursday evening (February 25).

Shortly after this Max was located after he wandered into a garage not too far away from the arrest in Hucknall.

Mr Ash said: “I can’t express how happy I was when I took that call, for two days since I’d lost him, I’d had no sleep and I honestly thought he’d be dead.

PICTURED: Max the Welsh terrier

“I travelled to the garage and there he was, running straight up to me like nothing had happened.

“I’m so glad to have him back. I’ll continue to treasure him every day.”

“I’ve received so much support from the police and from local people, I can’t thank everyone for the way they’ve rallied round and tried to help me. It really has shown me that humanity is not lost, despite what happened.”

West Bridgford Sergeant Declan Bourne, said: It’s horrible to experience a theft of any nature but especially when it’s a beloved pet. We understand how much they mean to their owners, we treat them like children a lot of the time, so we knew how important it was to get Max returned home.

“We’re just grateful that he wasn’t injured especially when he was roaming the streets on his own and that this incident has resulted in the victim having all of his belongings safely returned back to him.”

“We’ll always take these crimes seriously and do everything we can to find out who’s behind them in order to get the best possible outcome.”

The three arrested people have been released under investigation while enquiries continue.

Nottighamshire Police recently urged dog owners to be vigilant following high-profile incidents of dog thefts nationally where it is believed criminals are exploiting the huge hike in prices and demand for puppies during the coronavirus restrictions.

This has prompted a local survey to better understand public views on dog theft conducted by the deputy police and crime commissioner. Emma Foody is inviting dog owners to complete a new survey to better understand public views on dog theft.

The results will help determine the public’s fear of dog theft in Nottinghamshire and support for tougher enforcement.

To complete the survey click here.

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