Police are investigating claims that a little dog stolen in West Sussex was sold for £700 almost 100 miles away.
The chihuahau called Tobias was taken from its home in Chichester on August 6.
Nothing was heard about the pooch until Friday last week, when its owner received an out-of-the-blue call from a woman in Hertfordshire.
She said that her daughter had bought Tobias for £700 and had taken the dog to be microchipped at a veterinary surgery in Ware, near Hertford.
There, the daughter discovered that ‘Billy’, as it had been called, was in fact, Tobias.
At this point, the Hertfordshire woman said that the owner would have to speak to her daughter and hung up, police said.
Sussex Police are now appealing for anyone who recognises Tobias or Billy to get in touch.
According to the vet in Ware, the woman was accompanied by a boy in his early teens, and told them she had bought the dog in the New Forest.
Tobias is black-and-white, long haired with a quite unusual white-tipped, black tail. It has large fluffy ears, tan-colour eyebrows and the same colour ‘blusher’ cheeks.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police by emailing email@example.com.