A young boy whose puppy was picked up and stolen during a dog walk was captured on CCTV chasing the thief for as long as he could.
The heartbreaking footage shows the youngster growing increasingly anxious after the older boy takes the Jack Russell, named Mela, into his arms.
The pair approach a busy road in Crewe, Cheshire, and it is then that the thief decides to make a quick run for it, leaving the young boy to do his best to catch up.
But the older boy is too fast and is soon strides ahead of his victim.
A Facebook group called ‘Find Stolen Mela Crewe Cheshire’ has now been created to raise awareness as the puppy, stolen on January 4, has still not been found.Mystery as empty ‘ghost ship’ drifts into Liverpool Bay
‘This is the moment Mela was stolen from Underwood Lane,’ the group posted.
‘The next area this person was caught on camera was Derby Street. Prior to this Mela was being walked on her lead.
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‘This person approached and joined Mela’s young owner on the walk and then proceeded to talk to him and then pick Mela up.
‘The young boy hurried along the side of him trying to keep up with him. Once they got to this corner that you can see he then decided to make his move and run off with her.
‘If you have sound this will break your heart as much as it as ours, he is shouting stop. We need to find her. We need to bring her home.’
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The victim’s mother Aleksandra Pater wrote online: ‘The younger boy was my son and the dog was picked up without his permission.
‘We had put some posters up in one of the high schools. We believe she is still alive.’
The thief was wearing a grey hoodie and dark trousers and shoes when he stole the dog.
Already, the CCTV footage has sparked a reaction with social media users, who branded the him ‘absolutely disgraceful’ and a ‘low-life’ in their comments.
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Pat Taylor said: ‘How horrible this poor little boy can’t keep up. Bless him.Jury fails to reach verdict on cricketer accused of raping sleeping woman
‘Hopefully everyone keep sharing we will get Mela back to you and [the] little s*** that took Mela will eventually be caught.’
Bev Henderson added: ‘Absolutely disgraceful – that poor little boy on a busy road as well. Whoever has taken this pup needs catching.’
‘Somebody may recognise this low life who took this puppy out of this little boy’s hands. Poor little boy I hope he’s ok,’ Charlotte Henderson-Orme said.
‘Keep sharing somebody out there may recognise him. Keeping my fingers crossed.’
Cheshire Police are currently investigating the theft and are appealing for information.David Beckham's ex-brother-in-law jailed for conning elderly out of life savings
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A Spokeswoman said: ‘At 1pm on Friday 4 January police were called to reports of a theft of a Jack Russell Terrier puppy on Badger Avenue in Crewe.
‘The victim was walking from Barnabus Avenue to Badger Avenue when a male grabbed the lead of the dog and ran away towards the playing fields at Crossroads.’
Sargent John Myatt added: ‘This is obviously a very distressing time for the family who are missing Mela very much.
‘I urge anyone who knows the whereabouts of Mela to have a conscience and make contact. We just want Mela home safe and back where she belongs, with her family.’