Dog owners are being urged to be vigilant after reports of thieves targeting homes where dogs are kept by marking properties with chalk.
Residents of Greysteel, Ballykelly, Limavady and Derry have reported on social media their fences or gates have been marked with chalk. In Greysteel, one resident who has four dogs, was horrified to discover the foot-long chalk marks on her fence and the reason given as to why they are there.
Anthony Magill from Greysteel discovered on Saturday white marks on his gate, and believes the thieves cut through wire on another gate in a bid to steal his dogs.
“It’s awful. The dogs are like wains to me,” he said. “I’d be heartbroken if anything happened them.”
On social media, there was a huge reaction after the Facebook page ‘Pet FBI’ shared a photo of chalk marks on a fence. One post read: “Keep ur dogs in over night!!! Apparently they mark ur fence and come back in the middle of the night and scoop ur dog! I was reading that in another post from limavady/ballykelly area where these marks where on fences! (sic)”
PSNI in Limavady and Foyle said they’re aware of reports thieves have been marking fences of houses where dogs are kept with a view to going back to steal the pets. They say no actuals thefts have been reported, but are “keen to hear from anyone who can give us more information about potential crimes”.
Sinn Fein Colr. Dermot Nicholl said it was “a worrying development” and urged pet owners to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to police.