Family of missing dog Bertie had to pay mystery woman £100 to get their adored pet back

Family reunited with missing dog after Mafia-style money exchange

Family reunited with missing dog after Mafia-style money exchange

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

It sounds like something out of a Mafia movie – a mysterious caller asking to meet in a field to exchange a dog for £1,000.

This was the situation Vanessa Lucas, 40, was presented with last week after her prize pug Bertie was seen being taken away in a car by an unknown woman.

Mrs Lucas, of Havelock Road, said she “did not have that kind of money” and was unsure what to do.

After phoning the police she was told not to go ahead with the switch without an officer escort – but when the woman got in touch again Mrs Lucas said she felt desperate and negotiated a deal.

She told News Shopper: “She texted and asked to come over. I said ‘there’s no way I can afford £1,000’ – but I said I was happy to give her some money.

“We (family) thought our dog would’ve been sold on. She had him four days.

“She came round and gave us the dog and we gave her a cheque for £100. We just wanted to make it enough for her to come around and I just wanted to appeal to her human side.

“My daughter was crying.”

News Shopper:

On Sunday April 20 Mrs Lucas had described how she and her family had been left “devastated” after four-year-old Bertie was seemingly stolen.

A neighbour had seen a woman put him in a black Renault Megane and drive away – leaving the family’s other pug, Peaches, alone.

Mrs Lucas added: “My neighbour saw him being taken away – the woman said she didn’t steal it. She said he was out there on his own and she didn’t know what to do.

“She said he ran out into the middle of the road but my neighbour saw him in the garden.

“But I just wanted my dog back. We’ve been through hell”.

Bromley’s RSPCA branch reported Bertie had been reunited with his owners on Wednesday April 23.

The police said: “We are aware that the owner has been reunited with the dog.

“An investigation into this matter is currently ongoing.”

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Comments (5)

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11:56am Tue 29 Apr 14

Orp Boy says...

Im not sure the Mafia would accept a cheque for £100
Im not sure the Mafia would accept a cheque for £100 Orp Boy
  • Score: 20

12:11pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Tonic says...

Yes, you can stop a cheque - surely it should have been in used notes?!
Yes, you can stop a cheque - surely it should have been in used notes?! Tonic
  • Score: 11

12:42pm Tue 29 Apr 14

kentlad says...

Tonic wrote:
Yes, you can stop a cheque - surely it should have been in used notes?!
My thoughts exactly doesn’t seem like the woman has any brain cells as no criminal in their right mind would accept a cheque!

The only worrying thing now is everyone knows the owner has a couple of pugs and these are gold to thieves looking for a quick few hundred therefore they will always be watching over their beloved dogs shame but, this is the reality of today’s society they were lucky to get Bertie back.
[quote][p][bold]Tonic[/bold] wrote: Yes, you can stop a cheque - surely it should have been in used notes?![/p][/quote]My thoughts exactly doesn’t seem like the woman has any brain cells as no criminal in their right mind would accept a cheque! The only worrying thing now is everyone knows the owner has a couple of pugs and these are gold to thieves looking for a quick few hundred therefore they will always be watching over their beloved dogs shame but, this is the reality of today’s society they were lucky to get Bertie back. kentlad
  • Score: 13

1:00pm Tue 29 Apr 14

sarfflondonbird says...

Glad Bertie is back home where he belongs, but I do hope that the cheque has been stopped? Also, did anybody think to take the registration number of the car that was being driven? This may be of assistance to the police at some point, as it may be that this woman has a habit of taking what don't belong to her. Bloody rat bag, I hope she does get caught soon before somebody does lose their pooch and never sees the return of it again. Get Bertie micro chipped if he isn't,
Glad Bertie is back home where he belongs, but I do hope that the cheque has been stopped? Also, did anybody think to take the registration number of the car that was being driven? This may be of assistance to the police at some point, as it may be that this woman has a habit of taking what don't belong to her. Bloody rat bag, I hope she does get caught soon before somebody does lose their pooch and never sees the return of it again. Get Bertie micro chipped if he isn't, sarfflondonbird
  • Score: -18

1:49pm Tue 29 Apr 14

PaulErith says...

Surely now it will be very easy to trace the bank account that the cheque get paid in to! Let's hope this person gets traced and the book thrown at them. However small the final amount, they will hopefully get charged with blackmail.
Surely now it will be very easy to trace the bank account that the cheque get paid in to! Let's hope this person gets traced and the book thrown at them. However small the final amount, they will hopefully get charged with blackmail. PaulErith
  • Score: 43

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