Moment police rescue a dognapped French bulldog hours after he was snatched during a burglary – before reuniting him with his delighted owner

This is the moment police found a terrified puppy cowering in a garden hours after it was snatched by dognappers.

The officers’ bodycam footage shows French bulldog Moxley being rescued from the address in Kings Norton, Birmingham, before they reunited him with his delighted owner.

The footage shows one officer holding the four-month-old dog and challenging the householder.

After entering the house to retrieve the stolen puppy, officers’ first thought was to identify Moxley and get him back to his owner

An officer can be heard saying to the female homeowner: ‘We believe this dog was stolen in burglary, a burglary last night, Now it’s in your house.

‘So what you told me earlier half hour ago is that someone delivered this dog to your address.’

The woman, who was later cautioned for for handling stolen goods, replies: ‘That is the truth’

Officers found the pup hours after he went missing in a house with a woman who denied knowing that Moxley had been stolen

Heartwarming footage then shows cops returning Moxley to his rightful owner Gabriel Foley who was delighted to have his faithful friend back home.

Gabriel said: ‘He’s fine now but doesn’t like being left alone. Before he used to sleep downstairs but now he has to be in the bedroom. But I think he has recovered.

‘I was dealing with a number of distraught people, including myself, so it was really good to get him back and so quickly as well.’

Bodycam footage showed Moxley being found by officers led by Sgt Sharon Brain who then cautioned a woman on the premises with handling stolen goods

The neighbourhood team behind the rescue, in January, has now won the Neighbourhood Excellence accolade at a West Midlands Police ceremony last week.

For the last 18 months, officers from the Kings Norton team have also been targeting offenders from a postcode gang who were linked to drug dealing and violence.

The team includes PC Bethany Friend who was pictured cuddling up with Moxley after his clandestine rescue and return home.  

Sergeant Sharon Brain said: ‘It’s one of those lovely moments you go into policing for: the family were devastated at being burgled and losing their beloved pet dog but a few hours later we’d got him back.

Gabriel and two police officers involved with the rescue doted on Moxley after he returned home

Owner Gabriel Foley was visibly delighted as officers visited Moxley again after they rescued him after he was snatched

‘From police intelligence and our own experience we checked out a few addresses on the lookout for Moxley and found him in a back garden.

‘A woman their claimed someone had dropped the dog off just 30 minutes earlier which seemed very suspicious.

‘Poor Moxley was shaking. He was obviously missing home. So I took him straight back to his rightful owners who naturally were delighted.’

PC Bethany Friend cuddled the French Bulldog puppy with a smile on her face when she visited the pup following his safe return home

Dognappings have been a persistent problem for police during the pandemic.

Home Secretary Priti Patel vowed to clamp down on the spate of pet theft earlier this year.

Criminals who steal pets are currently prosecuted under property theft laws but campaigners have demanded that a separate legislation criminalising pet theft with harsher penalties be introduced.  

According to a report from the pet theft taskforce, 1,504 offences of dog theft were reported to police forces across England and Wales in 2020 – at a time when lockdown led to a sharp fall in burglaries and muggings.

In March, DogLost, a charity that helps owners whose animals are taken, said it had recorded a 170 per cent increase in the crime, rising from 172 pets reported stolen in 2019 to 465 in 2020.

The taskforce report also cites evidence from Pets4Home that the average price paid for a pup rose from £810 in 2019 to £1,875 last year.

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