Dog theft attempt at Climping Beach thwarted by owner

Two men and a woman attempted to steal a dog from its owner on Climping beach on February 24

Ashley Glasspool, the 33 year old owner, said he had been out with his pet for about an hour when the thieves approached him.

He said he was first approached by the two men, who asked a number of strange questions about the dog before trying to unclip its lead.

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Once he asked the man to stop, “the whole atmosphere suddenly changed. It was really tense and awkward.”

Mr Glasspool's dog

“It was extremely tense.” Mr Glasspool said, “I’m shaking just thinking about it. I’m five foot five and I barely weigh eight stone when I’m wet. One of them was easily six foot tall, maybe taller, and the other was about five nineish.”

“They both looked scrawny and unhealthy. They were all fidgety, they had the sullen eyes. They just had this generally gaunt, unhealthy look about them”

There was also a third person, a woman, stood some way down the beach with a bag of dog biscuits and a choker lead.

After one of the men tried to unclip the dog a second time, Mr Glasspool challenged them, pointing out the woman on the beach, and they started to get aggressive.

“They started getting really mouthy with me.” Mr Glasspool said. “But I stood my ground and I think that threw them off. They were obviously expecting me to roll over.”

“I was like, look, the three of you do not stand a hope in hell of taking my dog off me.”

The trio eventually left empty handed, but they may still pose a threat. Mr Glasspool, who lives in Bognor Regis, said. “We’re in a community of people who all walk on the beach. There are hundreds of dogs around here. I saw two young lads with a Jack Russel a half hour before hand. They were late school age- maybe 14, 15 and two little old ladies with a very old looking collie dog. I don’t know what they want the dogs for but not everyone is going to have a stand off with them.”

Police said they conducted an extensive search of the area, but could not find any trace of the suspects. They have asked the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity online or by calling 101.