Following our story about the man ‘selling mattresses’ in a van near Marton Asda, some new information has come to light. A source, who wishes to remain anonymous, got in touch with Lytham St Annes News to warn locals not to go near this man, and to be vigilant.

Around the UK there have been increased dog thefts involving a man with a van, usually selling mattresses. The man tends to have mattresses, however this is a ploy to get into your house. It has been reported that there are a number of vans across the UK and Ireland, selling mattresses for a reasonable price, delivering it into the person’s home, and then returning later to steal their dog or anything of value.

Incidents like this are prominent in the UK at the moment, especially with the rise in puppy prices, some selling online for £3000 or more, depending on the breed.

The dog thieves are known for targeting a house with a dog, taking photographs, and then throwing treats or meat laced with sedatives over the fence or through the door, to sedate the dogs and then steal it when no one is looking.

Reports of this happening across Wales, in 2019 and 2020, news of 11 spaniels being taken in the Gwent area by someone in a white van in July 2020.

If you are approached by the man and you are not a dog owner, the thieves may try to look for something else of value in your home, for example spare car keys for your car, jewellery, ornaments etc.

Please be vigilant, if you are approached and feel threatened alert the police immediately by calling 101.