Chesterfield dog owner concerned after mysterious black mark which could be linked to thefts is painted on residents' fences

A dog owner in Chesterfield has warned people with pets to remain aware of potential thefts in the area, after a mysterious black mark was painted on his fence last week.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 8:03 pm

Rob Stone, 44, who lives on Cedar Street in Hollingwood was first alerted to the fresh paint that was dabbed on his garden fence at around 9am on March 5 after his girlfriend, Kerry Insley opened the gate.

The resident who works at iron foundry William Lee in Dronfield, moved into the property with his eight-year-old Jack Russell Terrier Meg around six months ago.

But he is now concerned the property was potentially being ear marked by criminals – as police confirmed random markings are one of the methods thieves use as a ‘indicator’ that a dog is present in the home.

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Properties were marked with black paint in Hollingwood, according to residents. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Properties were marked with black paint in Hollingwood, according to residents. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

After chatting to a neighbour who saw him removing the freshly painted mark with paint thinner, Rob said he heard that another dog owner further down the street had been also been marked with paint a few days before.

"I've heard a lot about the markings being done on houses and my dog is out quite a lot, it is quite a secure garden”, Rob said.

"It was quite concerning, especially as the paint was still wet.”

Rob shared a post about the incident to Hollingwood Residents Facebook page, urging other pet owners to keep there dogs secure.

He added: “A lot of people have been really shocked.

"It could be completely nothing but there were too many coincidences so I just wanted to make other pet owners aware.”

It comes after a dog owner was reportedly verbally abused and chased by a group of young men who were trying to take pictures of his dog, while he was out running with his beloved pet along Chesterfield canal on March 1.

"It's scandalous, the canal is a five minute walk away from me”, Rob added.

"I think it needs to be highlighted that there is an ongoing problem with these dog thefts in the area.”

Derbyshire Police said were also alerted to a chalk mark on the brick of a home in Brimington on February 25.

However the circumstances were not believed to be suspicious.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Phil Bramley, editor.