Five chihuahuas worth €40,000 stolen in raid on house
FIVE chihuahuas worth a total of £32,000, including a Crufts champion, have been stolen after dognappers broke into their owners’ home.
A nationwide hunt is now under way for the dogs, which are all microchipped, after they were snatched in a break-in at their home in Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
One of the pets taken in the raid was 14-month-old Valenchino chihuahua Xena, who was named Best Puppy in Breed at last month's show.
Xena, worth £20,000, may have been targeted for breeding, with her puppies expected to fetch tens of thousands of pounds, while the other dogs taken are worth £3,000 each.
The burglars stole three generations by stealing Xena's grandmother Angel and mother Io, along with a Russian tri smooth coat called Pandora and a white long coat called Evie.
Owner Mal Hilton, 65, told the Sun: "Whoever did this is scum. I don't want to think what they might do to the dogs if they can't sell them on quickly. I fear they might come to some harm.
"Everyone loves Xena and the kids are devastated because they have lost their pets."
He added: "You would not say 'boo' to a chihuahua — they are so sensitive.
"If Xena is not handled properly we may never get her back in the show ring — not to mention the puppies she would have had.
"It is not every day you breed a Crufts champion and I have never had a winner before."
Mal's partner Lucy Hilton, 36, said: "In total, they took three generations — Xena, her mum and her grandmother.
"They also took two other dogs. I just can't believe that this has happened to us. They're like our children."
Mal, a retired driving instructor and father-of-two, said he had not slept since the dogs were stolen on Thursday afternoon, when he returned home to find the back window shattered.
He said: "They tried everything to get in — that's how desperate they were. They first tried smashing it with a boulder from our rockery.
"When that didn't work they tried using a spade from the shed.
"They finally picked up an iron bar and just hurled it through the window. A forensic specialist was here dusting for fingerprints and she said that she'd never seen an attack on a window like this in all her career.
"They were absolutely determined to get in and take the dogs."
A Humberside Police spokesman said police are hunting for the stolen animals, adding: "It is unusual — but it is a fact that items of value are always attractive to thieves."