POLICE officers are looking to speak with a van owner whose vehicle has built-in dog cages following the suspected theft of a precious pooch.

Springer spaniel Arnie was last seen on September 24 in Alresford.

Since then his concerned owner Yasmin Ticquet, 60, has desperately tried to find her beloved dog, but sadly to no avail.

She now believes Arnie may have been snatched and has therefore reported him as stolen to Essex Police, who have launched an investigation.

As part of their inquiries officers want to track down and speak with a man who has been seen driving a vehicle boasting internal cages.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

A spokesman for the force said: “We are investigating a report of a springer spaniel dog having been stolen in Alresford on September 24.

“The investigating officer has received the microchip number of the dog and it will be added to the Police National Computer.

“We would like to speak to the driver of a light-coloured or silver van with dog cages inside which has been seen a number of times at Alresford Creek, in Ford Lane.”

In addition to worrying about her brown and white pooch, Yasmin has horrifically fallen victim to pranksters threatening to kill Arnie unless a ransom is paid.

Speaking previously she added: “We have been subjected to cruel, threatening scammer calls demanding money to prevent his death.

“We are heartbroken as a family, as are our other dogs, and we desperately want to get him home safely, but he has not been reported as found to any vets or wardens.

“We are offering a finder's fee with no questions asked for his safe return.”

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Anyone with information about Arnie’s whereabouts or the van driver is asked to contact Essex Police on 101 citing the crime reference number 42/213581/21

Reports can also be submitted online by visiting essex.police.uk or using the website’s 'Live Chat' button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.

Crimestoppers can also be contacted completely anonymously on 0800 555 111 or by visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.