A disturbing new trend has reared its head in our region.
'Dognappers' demanding ransoms of hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds for the return of stolen pets are targeting the south-east on an unprecedented scale.
The thieves steal a dog, then demand money using the phone number on the dog's collar tag - or make contact when reward notices to appear.
Animal charities fear dognapping is replacing metal theft - now in sharp decline - as the new route to quick cash for criminal gangs.
John Ryall has been speaking to Jonathan Ames, whose dog was stolen, and Wayne May a volunteer who helps find lost dogs. Click on the link above to see his report.
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A dull and damp start but it will become drier and brighter from the north this afternoon but stay cold and windy.
A damp and cold night ahead. Valentine's Day will start cloudy but become brighter in the afternoon. Risk of showers along the Kent coast.
Cold and damp tonight with outbreaks of rain. A cold and dull start to Valentine's Day but becoming drier and brighter by the afternoon.