An unnamed 24-year-old man from Durham was arrested on Saturday, August 22 for allegedly stealing between 30 to 40 puppies. Gloucestershire Police arrested the man on the M6 and recovered the animals. The suspect was released from police custody but continues to be under investigation. All the dogs were handed over to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). It is unclear if the dogs will be returned to their owners or from where they were stolen.

The suspicious behaviour of the alleged puppy thief was reported to the police on Saturday. The tip about the possible puppy theft informed the police of the man loading a large number of animals into a van. They were informed that the man was travelling from Beeches Road in Charlton Kings, a village close to Cheltenham, 245 miles away from Durham.

Gloucestershire Police responded to the call and inquired into the van being driven by the suspect. They contacted West Mercia Police, passing on the information of the suspect's vehicle. West Mercia Police and Gloucestershire Police worked together to locate the van.

Officers from West Mercia Police found the vehicle and stopped it on M6. They found nearly 40 puppies stuffed into cages in the van. The suspect was detained before being sent to Gloucestershire. The man briefly remained in police custody before being released. Even though the suspect is not in custody he is being investigated by the Gloucestershire Police for the incident, according to Sunderland Echo.

The puppies found in the vehicle were mostly beagles and border collies. The animals seized from the man are worth thousands of pounds. Spokespersons from both West Mercia Police and Gloucestershire Police confirmed the incident.

All of the puppies were taken to RSPCA shelter where they were examined by a vet. After their examination, the puppies have remained in the shelters under the care of the RSPCA. The fate of the puppies has not been disclosed. It is unclear where the puppies had been taken from or if there are reports of stolen puppies.

The investigation into the incident continues. Police have urged anyone with any relevant information related to the case to call 101 quoting incident 237 of 22 August.

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Man arrested for allegedly stealing puppies. (representational image) Jean Chung- HSI