Cornwall

Labradoodle puppy stolen at knifepoint on morning walk

Waffle Image copyright DEVON AND CORNWALL POLICE
Image caption Waffle was taken after its owner was threatened with a suspected knife, police said

A puppy was stolen at knifepoint while on a morning walk with its owner, police have said.

The six-month-old labradoodle called Waffle was taken in St Austell, Cornwall, at about 07:00 GMT.

A masked man approached Catherine Hussain, 54, and threatened her with what she believed was a knife.

She described the assailant as about 5ft 8in (1.72m) tall, wearing a black hooded top and scarf and speaking with a foreign accent.

"I'm just trembling and I can't stop crying," said Mrs Hussain.

A man approached her while she was emptying the bins before heading off to work.

"I realised there was somebody close by because [Waffle] was wagging his tail," she said.

"When I turned around there was this man, dressed in dark clothing, hood up, and something over his face."

'Like my baby'

Mrs Hussain said the man swore at her and said "dog" in a foreign accent, gesturing for Waffle to go towards him.

"In his left pocket he brought his hand out and I heard a spring-type noise - with his right hand he gestured to the dog and I just froze.

"I don't know whether he snatched the dog or if I handed him the dog - I can't get my head round it," she added.

She described Waffle as a sociable, friendly dog.

"He'll literally go and make himself known to anyone. He's like my baby."

Sgt Steve White, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "Myself and all of the officers at the police station dealing with this crime also feel very sad for the family over what is a cruel and mean-spirited crime, especially during the Christmas period.

"I am sure that someone somewhere knows of a friend, relative or neighbour that has suddenly come into possession of a dog that may be Waffle."

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