Dog owners have been warned to be on their guard after a woman was assaulted by two men in an attempted dog-napping.
The incident took place in Kempston between 12pm and 1pm on Tuesday, June 21, when the victim was walking her chihuahua and black and white papillon in a wooded area behind Hillgrounds Fields.
A man appeared from trees at the riverside, opposite Queens Park, and approached the woman – while a second man walked up behind her and snatched one of her dogs before making off towards a bridge linking Kempston and Queens Park.
The victim’s hair was grabbed and she was hit several times.
Luckily after returning home and calling 999, the dog was safely reunited with its owner.
Both men were reported to have spoken with an eastern European accent and had hair in a short buzz cut.
The first man is described as white, in his mid to late 30s, of large, muscular build and around 5’11”. He had a large nose, and was wearing a navy-blue t-shirt and skinny blue jeans.
The second man is described as white, in his 20s, of slight build and approximately 5’10”.
Since the incident, community policing officers have increased patrols in the area, and investigators are appealing for information from the public which could help trace those involved.
Detective Constable Craig Storey, who is investigating the incident, said: “This is a very concerning report where an innocent victim has been left injured and incredibly shaken.”
He added: “We are looking to speak with anyone in the area at the time who may have seen two men acting suspiciously or making off from the scene.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Bedfordshire Police by calling 101 or visiting this link and quoting 40/35730/22.