Dog thieves in white vans - Internet/Facebook Rumour

23 Apr 2014 - Article No: 1840. Filed under: General | Internet/Facebook Rumour

BEWARE!! THere are Dog Thieves Operating in the area. Please make sure your dog is safe & secure! LOOK OUT for a Ford Transit Van RH57 WSU

White transit RH57 WSU seen trying to steal dogs in Sussex & Salisbury. If seen please call police. PLEASE RT.

EIGENAARS VAN MIDDELGROTE EN GROTE HONDENer is een bende actief in Essen,Kalmthout en Wuustwezel ze rijden rond in een witte camionette en breken in om uw hond te deze te gebriuken als levend aas om gevechtshonden op los te laten,gelieve uw ogen goed open te houden en als u de kans krijgt de nummerplaat te noteren GELIEVE DIT ZOVEEL MOGELIJK TE DELEN zodat we meer mensen op de hoogte kunnen brengen van deze harteloze klootzakken...deze mensen moeten zo snel mogelijk gepakt worden...alvast bedankt mensen.

The nefarious white van travelling across the globe willfully kidnapping beloved pet dogs, is certainly a common online Chinese whisper, with countless communities warned via social media posts to be on the watch out for certain registration plates and descriptions.

In fact the number of communities warned via social media posts of malicious dog-nappers driving white vans may very well number into the thousands, including this authors hometown.

Two vans have certainly been the focus of many of these rumours, with registration plates that read RH57 WSU and 7465 CGF.

The problem with rumours of this nature is that they are fuelled by hearsay, speculation and unverified information, as opposed to any legitimate police or media reports.

The van with registration plate RH57 WSU managed to pop up in almost every single area in the UK during 2013, with Salisbury and Greater Manchester being hardest hit. But the rumours were not true and versions of message that claimed the warning was issued directly by the police spurned a rebuttal from Greater Manchester police [link now removed as post since deleted] who asserted the van did not exist on their records and had no reports of dogs being stolen.

The van with registration plate 7465 CFG has been spotted all over Europe over the last few years kidnapping dogs, if Internet rumour is to be believed. Norway, England, Germany, Spain apparently this white van has covered some ground an impressive feat considering there are zero police reports or media reports confirming that they are actually stealing dogs.

Many online spectators have linked the van to this one, appearing on a Norwegian website that claims the men in the van were stealing metal from junkyards, not dogs. Other versions identify this van in Ireland and the description of the men as two Irish guys, one bald with a scar from lip to left eye and one with curly reddish brown hair.

Variants of rumours of dog thieves in white vans number well into the hundreds if not thousands. Do dog thieves have some kind of inexplicable affiliation with white transit vans, or is this an example of online hearsay out of hand? The latter seems much more likely.

Of course there are people who steal dogs out there, lurking. And it is possible, if not statistically likely, that at least a handful of them probably do choose to drive in white vans. But rumours that target specific registration plates, specific descriptions and circulate in specific communities should always be verified before being passed on.

These rumours cause needless alarm, and act to waste the valuable time of local police forces that continually have to field calls from concerned pet owners as well as issue rebuttals.

Dog owners are always recommended to ensure they follow basic safety precautions to protect themselves and their pets, at all times, not only when social media alarm bells are ringing.

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