On March 3, 2022, Caroline Busby was walking her French Bulldog Luna home in Malven, Worcestershire when she was stopped by two men. The men engaged Busby in conversation for a bit, asking her questions about her dog.
Then, without warning, one of the men unclipped Luna from her leash, grabbed her, and ran. This disturbing incident, caught on surveillance camera, shows the increasing boldness of dog thieves.
A Terrible Crime In Broad Daylight
CCTV footage obtained after the incident clearly shows the suspects waiting around the corner before approaching Busby and Luna. Caroline’s daughter Kirsty Groves said:
“You can see on the CCTV that they are crouched down, waiting for her to come around the corner. My mum thought maybe they were doing their shoelaces or something. Then they just unclipped her and ran. They had been hiding in a bush, my mum didn’t even see them.”
The family immediately began searching for Luna and posted about the theft online to warn people to be on the lookout. Neighbors and concerned locals circulated photos of the dog and the two men involved in her abduction.
On March 4, police found Luna eight miles away in Strensham. Fortunately, she’s been reunited with her mom after this disturbing ordeal.
“We are really lucky that we got her back,” Groves said. “I think this is due to the sharing online about what had happened. We are really grateful for those who took the time to help find her.”
Sergeant Brian Simpkins of West Mercia Police said:
“As you can imagine this was a very distressing 24 hours for the owner of Luna after she was taken during a walk yesterday. We cannot thank the community enough for pulling together to help us locate Luna by assisting us with searches and for also supporting her owner.”
Though Luna was safely recovered, police are still searching for the men responsible for taking her. Sergeant Simpkins added:
“We are still appealing to the public to help us find the two men who distracted the owner before taking the dog. If you have any information I would urge you to contact us immediately – one of the men is described as wearing blue shorts and the other as wearing a white top and baseball style cap.”
Anyone with information should report it to West Mercia Police here.
Dognappings Strike Fear In Owners’ Hearts
It’s very lucky this dognapping story ended with a recovery and reunion. Sadly though, Busby is now terrified to walk her dog around her own neighborhood, even during the day. Groves explained:
“[Busby] is nervous wreck. She doesn’t want to walk her dog anymore alone; she has to go with friends. She will not go on her own ever again.”
Incredibly, Luna was found within 24 hours, but the emotional turmoil Busby went through was devastating. Stealing a dog isn’t like stealing a purse.
“My mum’s dog is my mum’s best friend, she’s not just a dog. It is a family pet. They are part of your family,” Groves added.
Even though she walked her dog on a leash in the bright light of day, Busby still fell victim to heartless thieves. As to why these men targeted her mother and Luna, Groves expects it’s because Frenchies are an expensive breed. French Bulldogs are one of the most targeted breeds for thieves.
“We can only think that the theft was purely down to money. French bulldogs are expensive. We even took extra precautions when I brought her the dog because of this.”
In the wake of dognappings like this, many want to see harsher punishments for the perpetrators. They appear to have no shame.