Shocking footage appears to show two dognappers pretending to stroke a woman's pet before stealing it in broad daylight. Watch below:
Caroline Busby, 60, says she was walking home her one-year-old bulldog, Luna, and another dog where she was stopped by two men.
As shown in the CCTV footage above, the pair look to be hiding behind the fence while they wait for Caroline to walk by.
After engaging in conversation with the dog owner, one of the suspects knelt down to stroke Luna.
However, the man then unhooks the dog from its collar and runs off with the puppy.
"They turned her over to presumably see if she was a male or female, and they asked my mum how old the dog was. She told them she was only one.
The search for the missing dog began on Thursday (3 March) where Caroline's family frantically looked around Malvern, Worcs.
They also posted footage of the incident on Facebook to help with the search.
Thankfully, 24 hours later, police were able to find Luna wandering on her own eight miles away in Strensham, Worcs.
Caroline’s daughter Kirsty Groves, 34, said: "You can see on the CCTV that they are crouched down, waiting for her to come around the corner.
"My mum thought maybe they were doing their shoelaces or something.
"Then they just unclipped her and ran. They had been hiding in a bush, my mum didn't even see them."
She added: "We've not slept. We are both still in shock.
"My mum's dog is my mum's best friend, she's not just a dog. It is a family pet. They are part of your family.
"She is nervous wreck. She doesn't want to walk her dog anymore alone; she has to go with friends. She will not go on her own ever again.
"She's a defenceless 60-year-old woman, it's so unfair. I live away and I am worried about my mum and if anything like this will happen again."
Kirsty then said: "We are really angry someone has made my mum feel this way. What is wrong with people? Truly awful.
"You don't expect anything like this to happen in Malvern.
"We are really lucky that we got her back. I think this is due to the sharing online about what had happened.
"We are really grateful for those who took the time to help find her.
"We can only think that the theft was purely down to money. French bulldogs are expensive. We even took extra precautions when I brought her the dog because of this.
"I got my mum a panic alarm to take on her walks with her and she was insured as much as she could be, but this still happened."
West Mercia Police are now hunting the two dognappers.
A spokesperson said: "Two males in their early twenties seen running towards Mayfield Road carrying the dog in their arms.
"Police are continuing with their investigations and are determined to track down the offenders.”Featured Image Credit: SWNS