Father’s fury at dognap scam

THE police were criticised for failing to help a distraught family when unscrupulous thieves stole their disabled son s dog when he was shopping. Peter Masterson, of Rutland Park, Willesden, said the incident left son Sean, who is 20, but has a mental ag

THE police were criticised for failing to help a distraught family when unscrupulous thieves stole their disabled son's dog when he was shopping.

Peter Masterson, of Rutland Park, Willesden, said the incident left son Sean, who is 20, but has a mental age of seven, unable to speak.

A man in his 20s offered to look after the dog while Sean went into a convenience store in Walm Lane, Willesden.

When he came out the conman had fled.


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After police said they were too busy to help, Mr Masterson put up pictures of Norbit - the dog - in Willesden, Harlesden, Cricklewood, Kensal Rise and Queen's Park offering a reward.

Mr Masterson said: "The police were a complete waste of time. I don't know why we are paying our taxes for them.

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"But I do want to thank the estate agents and the shops who printed colour pictures of the dog free and put them in their windows."

The following day he received a call from someone saying his brother had bought the dog in the street and that he could come and collect it.

Mr Masterson said: "I then called the police who said: 'How do you know it's your dog?' I said simple: 'Get your arse out of gear and let's go and recognise it.' It would have taken 20 minutes of their time but they couldn't be bothered."

But after the police advised against meeting the caller, Mr Masterson said the family were worried all night thinking they could have had the dog back.

The caller delivered Norbit the next day, Wednesday, July 28, demanding a ransom of �135 plus �35 for a taxi.

Mr Masterson said: "I only gave him �20. I reckon him and his brother had something to do it with it all.

"For somebody to take advantage of my son like that is very cruel; but we are all happy to get him back.

"He's part of the family. But now I've got the fear that when we take the dog for a walk at night, you don't know who's behind you."

A Brent police spokeswoman said: "On July 25 at 11.39am a male called Police ... [but] as the police operator was asking questions, the male on the phone stated that police were at the location and cleared the line. Two officers were on patrol at the time and were approached by the victim.

"Police conducted enquiries at the scene however no witnesses were identified."

"On July 27 at 11.20pm the victim reported an unconfirmed sighting of the dog. On July 28 the dog was returned to the owners.

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