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Puppy reunited with family after Crewe street theft

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Media captionOliwier Pater chased after the puppy thief who ran off with Jack Russell Mela

A seven-year-old boy has been reunited with his stolen puppy after a video of her being snatched was widely shared.

The footage shows Oliwier Pater chasing an older boy who ran off with 13-week-old Jack Russell Mela after grabbing her a week ago.

His father, Adrian, said his son was distraught and "blamed himself" for the loss of his beloved pooch.

After the family launched a campaign to find Mela, they were reunited on Friday thanks to an anonymous tip-off.

Oliwier was playing with the puppy near his home in Crewe on 4 January when he was approached by the other boy.

According to his father, the boy told Oliwier he was taking Mela to a playground before disappearing with her.

Mr Pater, 34, and his wife Aleksandra, 36, both warehouse workers, launched their campaign to find Mela immediately after she disappeared.

They eventually received a phone call which led them to their missing pet.

Image copyright Adrian Pater
Image caption The boy told Oliwier he was taking Mela to a playground, but ran away from him instead, carrying Mela in his arms, Mr Pater said

"We put in a lot of effort with posters, knocking on doors and the community helped us set up a social media page," he said.

The appeal was shared more than 15,000 times, Mr Pater said, and found the CCTV footage from nearby Underwood Lane Social Club.

"When we found her, Mela recognised us straight away, when we picked her up she licked our faces", Mr Pater said.

"I think everything is going to be a lot better now", Mr Pater said.

He said Oliwier, who had his eighth birthday four days after Mela went missing, was ecstatic when they were reunited.

"When we brought her home, he couldn't believe it, he was in heaven."

Inquiries into the theft are continuing and no arrests have been made, Cheshire Police said.

Image copyright Adrian Pater
Image caption "When we brought her home, he couldn't believe it, he was in heaven", Mr Pater said

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