A GANG of boys tried to steal a family pet while it was being walked by the owner’s dad.

A group of boys have been accused of using distraction techniques to attempt to steal the pet, a pug French bulldog cross, from a man in Honeypot Lane, Basildon, near to Gloucester Park at roughly 3.30pm on Sunday.

It is claimed that the group of boys approached the dog walker, and feigned interest in the dog, asking to stroke the pet.

As members of the group bent down to pet the dog, others distracted the owner by engaging in conversation with him.

But the dog walker quickly realised the group unclipped the pets lead, and picked him up to flee the area.

The man was able to chase them down and reclaim the dog, but his daughter, the dog owner took, to Facebook to warn other owners to be aware.

The social media post read: “So this afternoon my dad was out walking my dog down Honeypot Lane when a group of boys approached him and asked my dad if they could stroke the dog.

“Obviously my dad said yes so the group of boys all bent down and started stroking him.

“Two of the boys started talking to my dad to distract him then one of the boys grabbed hold of the dog and unclipped him from his lead and the boys ran of with him. My dad ran after them and thankfully got Bruno back but the boys started giving my dad abuse but my dad just walked of and that was the end of it.

“Thankfully nothing worse had happened. Please everyone be careful when out walking your dogs as I don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Essex Police confirmed officers are investigating, and asked anyone with info to call them on 101 quoting crime reference number 42/58967/19.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.