A MAN has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a pet dog from a house in Pitsea.

The 35-year-old man was arrested by officers after the owner of the snatched pooch spotted the suspected dognapper a day after the dog had been taken.

The pet was allegedly taken from a house in Wimbish End, Pitsea, between 11.45pm on December 27 and 12.20am on December 28.

The theft happened after one of the pet’s owners went out of the house and left the front door unlocked.

Another owner of the dog then saw a man leaving the property and alerted police.

The following day the same owner spotted the alleged dognapper while shopping in Boots in Basildon town centre and he was subsequently arrested.

Officers went to the arrested man’s house and found a second man leaving the property, about to take a dog matching the description of the stolen pet, for a walk.

A 35-year-old man from Pitsea was arrested on suspicion of burglary in connection with the incident and a 20- year-old man, also from Pitsea, was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

Both have been released on police bail until January 23.

The arrests come as police continue to investigate a series of burglaries across the borough.

Burglars broke in to a house in Long Riding, Basildon, between noon on December 27 and 4.10am on December 29 and stole a Jean Paul Gautier perfume bottle.

Raiders targeted a house in Polton Drive, Wickford, between 3pm and 9.45pm on December 29 and stole jewellery and electrical items.

A burglar broke in to a house in The Chase, Billericay at 1.05am on December 28.

They forced open the door, but the owner’s daughter disturbed them after she woke and saw torch lights in the hallway. The thief escaped.

A Ford Focus was stolen from a house in Gannels Road, Billericay, between 12.30pm and 8.15pm on December 30.

Burglars broke in to the house, snatched the keys and then took the car.