A BELVEDERE pet shop owner has spoken of her "nightmare" after four pedigree puppies worth £2,000 were stolen during a late night smash and grab raid at her shop.

Determined thieves are believed to have used a van to smash through the door of Belvedere Pets and Flowers, in Albion Road, before grabbing the tiny puppies as they slept in their cages overnight.

Devastated shop owner Sheri Poole was alerted by a neighbouring business at 6.45am last Wednesday. (Jan 16)

She told News Shopper: "I shot down here and found the door smashed in and dogs taken, it was a nightmare - really horrible.

"They’re only little animals. I just hope they have home for them and not chucked in a shed.

"It’s very sad for the animals, it’s horrible weather."

The pairs of Shih Tzus and West Highland White Terriers were on sale for £475 and £460 each respectively.

Mrs Poole, 55, who has run the shop for eight years, said: "You can pay anything up to £600 each for them.

"Shih Tzu’s are more in demand than Westie’s. I’ve heard about them being stolen in parks around Bexley.

"If the thieves do try to sell them and you notice the sellers are slightly suspicious, they might be returned."

Around £350 in cash was also taken from Belvedere Pets and Flowers, which sells a wide range of animals.

Acting Detective Superintendent Gary Holmes from Bexley CID said: "With help from the public the puppies will be found and go to caring owners.

"Burglary is a top priority for Bexley and we will use all necessary methods available to us to ensure we keep burglars off our streets."

Anyone with information should call Bexley burglary and robbery squad on 020 8284 9248.

Not a one-off

THIS is not the first time valuable pet dogs have been stolen in Bexley.

In September last year, News Shopper reported how a mother and son were left devastated after their pet chihuahua was stolen in Bexleyheath.

Three-year-old Coco escaped from the back garden of Elizabeth Russell, 24, and her six-year-old son Harvey's home in Red House Lane on the afternoon of September 2.

The £550 teacup chihuahua wandered into the street and was picked-up by a lady living nearby who went house to house knocking on doors trying to find her owner.

She got to within a few doors of Coco's home when a silver car pulled into the drive with two men inside. Miss Russell says one of the men then got out and pretended the dog belonged to his sister.

The resident was convinced and handed over Coco only to watch the man get into his car before speeding off. Miss Russell says he even went to kiss the dog to convince her finder he was the owner, but Coco pulled away.