Missing Max, the long-lost St Albans pet pooch, is found in Hampshire

A Colney Heath family's 'beloved' pet Max is still missing

A Colney Heath family's 'beloved' pet Max is still missing - Credit: Photo supplied

A family has had the best possible start to the new year with the return of their dog Max who was stolen over three months ago.

The brown and white Shih Tzu crossed with a Cavalier King Charles was returned to his owner in Colney Heath on Sunday after being found in Hampshire.

Although Max had lost a bit of weight, he is doing well and settling back home.

Max was snatched on Wednesday, September 10, when a thief grabbed him after stealing a mobile phone from a teenage boy walking along Hall Gardens in Colney Heath. The thief picked up the dog and drove off with him in a white BMW in which two other men were waiting.

Investigating officer, DC Stuart Bence, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Max has been reunited with with his family who were devastated when he was stolen. This is probably the best Christmas present they could have wished for.

And Max’s owner, the mother of the teenage whose phone was stolen, added: “I would like to thank everyone who helped us find Max by sharing the appeals and raising his profile across the country and Stolen and Stray Pet Rescue for their involvement in locating Max.

“Everyone has been so kind and supportive. I keep pinching myself as I can’t believe we have Max back - I’m ecstatic!”

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Police are still hunting for the man who took the dog, described as white, around 16 to 17 years of age, of average build and about 5ft 10ins tall. He had shaven dark hair and was wearing a dark-coloured tracksuit.

Anyone with information should call the non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.