BBC newsman Rory Cellan-Jones’ elderly Collie has been found after thieves targeted a dog-walker’s van today.
In a series of frantic tweets this morning, Mr Cellan-Jones appealed for the public’s help after thieves stole the vehicle while his beloved pet Cabbage and five other pooches were inside.
Mr Cellan-Jones told how the black Transit van was taken at 10.20am from a road in East Acton, London.
All six dogs have now been returned to their owners, with Mr Cellan-Jones sharing a sweet photograph of his 12-year-old dog by a food bowl with the caption ‘Cabbage is home!’
Five of the dogs were found ‘wandering around Park Royal together’ and were quickly reunited with their owners. One dog, an adult golden Cockerpoo named Bafi, was found a few hours after the others in Putney.
BBC newsman Rory Cellan-Jones shared a sweet photograph of his dog by a food bowl with the caption ‘Cabbage is home!’
A relieved Mr Cellan-Jones tweeted to reveal his beloved pooch had been found safe
The dogs were found ‘wandering around Park Royal together’ and were quickly reunited with their owners
Cabbage took a nap in a blanket after the day-long ordeal on Friday
The former BBC technology correspondent, who retired in August, two years after revealing he was battling both cancer and Parkinson’s disease, regularly tweets pictures of himself with his Collie, from regular walks to relaxing at home.
But his usually jovial tweets turned to frantic pleas for help this morning as he revealed his elderly pet was snatched by thieves who leapt into his dog-walker’s vehicle while he parked up to collect another pooch ahead of a morning stroll.
This morning’s theft comes amid a rise in dog thefts across the capital, with reports of pets stolen in burglaries or at knife-point rising 75 percent over the recent lockdowns.
A panicked, Mr Cellan-Jones tweeted today at 11.51am: ‘Something terrible has happened. Our dog walker’s van with our dog Cabbage in it has been stolen while he was picking up another pet.
An adult golden Cockerpoo named Bafi (pictured) was found after the others in Putney
Bafi was found separated from the other dogs hours later in Putney
Rory Cellan-Jones (pictured) tweeted out for help after Cabbage went missing along with his dog-walker’s black van this morning
Mr Cellan-Jones posts frequently about Cabbage alongside pictures of the two of them on walks since the former BBC technology correspondent’s retirement in August
Toby and B Bau: Two of the six dogs that were inside their dog-walker’s black Ford Transit van when it was snatched by thieves this morning
Sam: Brown and white cross was stolen along with Cabbage, and four other dogs that were in their dog-walker’s van today
The request for help that Mr Cellan-Jones sent out included a description of the black transit van and number plate for the stolen vehicle
Only 180 dog thefts were reported in the capital in 2016 compared with 317 last year.
The Government has been urged to make pet theft a specific crime as it currently only amounts to property theft in law.
The rise in pet theft coinicded with heightened demand for animal companions during Covid lockdowns as potential pet owners found themselves at home for longer periods of time.
‘Our dog walker’s van with our dog Cabbage in it has been stolen while he was picking up another pet.
‘Please look out for a black Ford Transit reg AF20 XZD.
‘Take a photo and DM me or just ring the police’.
A fellow doglover added to his tweet saying that the other dog that had been snatched was their pooch named Sam.
Twitter account Missing Dogs GB confirmed that 6 dogs had been snatched by the thieves.
B Bau, a male tri-coloured beagle, and Toby, another beagle were also stolen in the raid.
The journalist retired in August, two years after it was revelaed he was battling both cancer and Parkinson’s disease concurrently.
Sharing the news on Twitter in the summer, he wrote: ‘Some personal news..in late October I shall be leaving the BBC.
‘I’ve had the most fabulous time working with brilliant people, but after 40 years it’s time to move on’.
The van was stolen on East Acton Lane in Ealing as the dog-walker was collecting another dog
Mr Cellan-Jones has made Cabbage a feature of his Twitter account since his retirement from the BBC.
He regularly posts pictures of his pet on walks with one coming as soon as this morning before Cabbage was nabbed alongisde the van.
Former colleague of Mr Cellan-Jones, Rich Preston tweeted his sympathy.
The BBC reporter said: ‘Oh Rory that’s awful I’m so sorry – hope he is found quickly and returned home safe and well’.
Another wellwisher said: ‘I’m so so sorry to hear this.
‘Hope Cabbage is found soon.’