Hertfordshire family’s delight as dogs return home

PUBLISHED: 13:40 26 February 2011

Hazel and Richard Colwell at home with their dogs

Hazel and Richard Colwell at home with their dogs


A HERTFORDSHIRE family has told the Welwyn Hatfield Times of their delight after their three stolen dogs were returned.

T Bag, the Jack Russel, who was stolen

Treasured trio Poppy, seven, Moses, six, and T Bag, three, the Jack Russells which featured in last week’s WHT when they were stolen during a £15k raid, were reunited with their owners on Wednesday.

And owner Hazel Colwell, whose birthday was Wednesday, said it was her “best ever present”.

The thieves left behind the Colwells’ other dog, heartbroken five-year-old English Setter, Wilma, as they escaped in a van with goods including six top-of-the-range televisions, six DVD players, four pieces of jewellery, two laptops and 130 Blu-Ray discs.

The captured canines were not seen again until late on Tuesday night, when they were found tied to a lamppost in Barnet and a girl took them into her home.

Jack Russell Moses, a former rescue dog, that was taken

The next day Hazel, Wilma and husband Richard went to collect the dogs and Hazel said it was a “magical moment”.

The Oaklands woman said: “As we drove up I could hear my dogs barking.

“They all went mental as we got out of the car and they were all back together again.

“It was wonderful.

Another stolen Jack Russel, Poppy, who has a skin condition

“It’s been an amazing birthday, it couldn’t have been a better one.”

Richard thanked the WHT, police, eyewitnesses, the vets and his neighbours for their support and help in returning the dogs.

He said: “Whatever it was that made the girl in her flat in Barnet ring Hazel on her birthday we will never know.

“But who is to say that your newspaper’s involvement didn’t fail to prick one or two people’s relevant consciences that week.

“Anyway they are, as Gary Barlow would say, back for good. And it is down to a lot of help and love and kindness from the local community.

“Maybe I’m an optimist, maybe I’m just stupid, but it does seem that when you mobilise community, police and media in a concerted way good things do happen.”

Richard, who has yet to see the return of his items, is now recovering the financial loss and is installing electronic gates and CCTV into his Mardley Hill home.

* A 24-year-old man from Hemel Hempstead has been arrested and bailed on suspicion of burglary.

Anyone with information on the incident should call police on 0845 33 00 222.

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