Police issue CCTV images after dog snatched in Hampstead turns up in Cricklewood

CCTV appeal: Police are keen to trace this woman after the dog of an Eastender's actress was stolen

CCTV appeal: Police are keen to trace this woman after the dog of an Eastender's actress was stolen from outside M&S in Hampstead - Credit: Archant

Eastenders actress is reunited with her stolen pet on Tuesday evening

EastEnders actress Shelley King re-united with her beloved pet dog Archie. Picture: Polly Hancock

EastEnders actress Shelley King re-united with her beloved pet dog Archie. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Police have issued a CCTV image of a woman they want to trace after a dog stolen from Hampstead turned up in Cricklewood on Tuesday evening.

A frantic search for missing Norfolk terrier Archie began after he was snatched from outside a M&S store while tied to railings on April 22.

The 13-year-old dog, who inspired the canine character of Piper in hit children’s novel Artichoke Hearts, was returned to his owners in a mystery handover in Cricklewood.

Officers would like to speak to the blonde-haired woman pictured as they believe she may be able to assist with enquiries.

A Camden police spokesperson said: “We are pleased to hear that the dog has been returned, however, the investigation is ongoing and anyone who has any information is asked to call Camden police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Archie’s owner Eastenders actress Shelley King, 57, kept up the search for her adored pet and handed out hundreds of leaflets appealing for information about his whereabouts for more than a week.

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A breakthrough finally came when she received a telephone call asking her to meet a woman where Archie was handed back.

Ms King, whose TV credits also include The Bill, Holby City and Silent Witness as well as stage roles at the National Theatre, said: “I was just elated. I promised my partner I would never be unhappy or complain again – about anything at all!”

The terrier lives with the actress and her 49-year-old civil partner, actress and director Trilby James, at their Hampstead home.

The couple adopted Archie when his original owner Trilby’s mother, the Hampstead artist and activist Rosie Harrison, died in 2005.

The little dog with big brown eyes and a cute button nose is also known to children nationwide in the fictional guise of canine character Piper in Artichoke Hearts, written by Ms King’s sister-in-law Sita Brahmachari.

“Archie is much more than a dog,” said Ms King. “He’s huge in terms of the emotional commitment and attachment the whole family have for Archie – and maybe also lots of children who have read Artichoke Hearts and know Piper who is a big star in the book.”

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