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Three arrested and stolen dogs recovered following joint police operation

Three men have been arrested in Wiltshire following the theft of two adult dogs and five puppies in Bristol.

Officers and staff from Avon and Somerset Police worked in conjunction with Wiltshire Police’s Operation Fortitude team after the animals were stolen from a property in Bristol last night (27 January).

Fortitude officers attended a location in Southwick and arrested three men aged 18, 48 and 51 on suspicion of theft. They are currently in custody at Melksham Police Station.

A total of 12 dogs, including the ones stolen from Bristol and five others also believed to have been stolen, were seized, along with a number of weapons and two vehicles.

Detective Sergeant Cath Leigh, from Avon and Somerset Police, said: “This is a prime example of an intelligence-led policing operation between two forces which has resulted in the swift recovery of these dogs.

“We’re delighted they have now been returned to their rightful owners and will be carrying out a full investigation into the incident.”

Sergeant Garry Epps, from Operation Fortitude, said: “This was a fantastic example of cross-border partnership working and we were pleased to achieve such a positive result for our colleagues in Avon and Somerset.

“Not only have we been able to retrieve the seven dogs stolen in yesterday’s theft, but we also now have five other dogs which can hopefully be returned to their rightful owners.”