UPDATE: Heartbroken victim of ‘professional’ burglary says ‘I just want my puppy back’

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A homeowner has spoken of her heartbreak after ‘professional’ burglars stole her 13-week-old puppy from her home while she slept.

Stephanie Scott, from Lake Lane in Barnham, said the thieves got in by taking tiles off the garage roof and raided the garage and house while she was asleep upstairs.

Fire crews from Littlehampton were called to the car fire at 5.40am. Picture: Littlehampton Fire

Fire crews from Littlehampton were called to the car fire at 5.40am. Picture: Littlehampton Fire

The burglars took her pet along with tools, laptops and even her car, which was found set on fire in Market Close at around 5.40am.

But it’s losing her Golden Retriever puppy Barney that Stephanie is most distraught about.

She said: “I’m absolutely heartbroken, I just want our little boy back.

“There are so many kind people that are trying to help and it’s being shared everywhere so I just hope somebody sees him and gets him back.

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“Obviously the burglary itself wasn’t great, but it’s all material things and that can be replaced, but he can’t and he’s only a baby.”

Stephanie and her husband Chris had only had Barney three weeks when he was stolen in the burglary on Thursday, March 23, along with two laptop computers, £400 cash and a handbag.

The thieves had moved security lights and taped over sensors to avoid being detected, Stephanie explained.

“Police said they’re professionals, they’re so quiet, you wouldn’t have heard it anyway, they know what they’re doing,” she said.

“The puppy, he just loves everybody and thought ‘oh people!’ and wouldn’t have made a noise.

“My husband is obviously distraught about the puppy but he’s more upset that he wasn’t there to protect me.

“If I had woken up and gone downstairs, it would’ve been a very different story, but people have said it’s a good job I didn’t.”

The couple are now offering a £1,300 reward and a Facebook appeal has been shared more than 200,000 times to get Barney home safe and sound.

Stephanie said: “He’s due to have his last jab on Monday so he doesn’t even have all his jabs yet.

“He’s still settling in, finding his feet, getting confident.

“He’s due to start his training class on Tuesday and he’s not going to be there.

“Everyone’s being so kind. The amount of nice people as well, it’s just overwhelming, we’ve got to try and stay positive with it.”

She said it was a ‘callous’ act, but every kind word ‘meant so much’.

Detective constable Emma Fields, of the West Sussex community investigation team, said: “The owners are absolutely devastated by his loss and are desperate to find him.”

Anyone who knows of Barney’s whereabouts or who may information about the burglary, suspicious people or vehicles in Lake Lane over recent days is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk, report details online at https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/ or phone 101, quoting serial 124 of 23/03.

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