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Warwickshire police make arrests over child kidnap, missing persons, theft and attempted dog thefts

A dramatic story involving the kidnapping of a child, missing persons and the apparent attempted thefts of dogs in Stratford district villages has emerged.

Warwickshire police say they received multiple calls on Saturday from members of the public about the occupants of a silver Peugeot Partner van having approached several dog walkers in the Alderminster, Ilmington, Newbold and Shipston areas.


Officers from the Rural Crime Team and Response teams attended the area to locate the van. Shortly after 1pm the police received a further call stating that a young male had been detained by a member of the public after the theft of a bicycle from an address in Ilmington.

On arrival officers arrested a 17-year-old male for the offence. Also during the incident the same Peugeot van's driver was dealt with for several traffic matters.

Intelligence was later received that the male occupants of the van had been involved in the kidnap of a child from the Kent area earlier that day.

In the early hours of Sunday two males were arrested by the Response team in connection with the allegation of kidnap. Unfortunately a third male (also implicated in the offence) couldn’t be found.

On Monday evening while patrolling the Bishopton area officers from the Rural Crime Team located the suspect van driving on the A46 near Stratford. After arranging for tactical support from Traffic officers from OPU Warwickshire the van was stopped in the Coventry area.

The third outstanding suspect was located in the van and arrested on suspicion of kidnap. A second male also in the van was arrested on suspicion of theft after further incidents relating to the van were confirmed at the scene.

Also in the van were two teenage females that were confirmed as missing from Coventry and Somerset areas. Both females were returned to their appropriate residence by officers.

The van was seized for its use in the now long list of offences and will be forensically examined.

Update on ages

Inspector Allison Wiggin from Warwickshire Police’s Rural Crime Team said: “We’re aware this reads as a concerning and confusing incident and we would like to reassure the community about what took place.

“In relation to the kidnap allegation, this relates to a 17-year-old boy from Kent, and Kent Police are currently leading on this investigation. We are working with their officers to support enquiries.

“The two teenage girls in the van which was stopped near Coventry are believed to be known to those involved and this is not being treated as a kidnap. However, as the girls had been reported as missing from elsewhere in the country, we’ve worked with our partner agencies to ensure they are safeguarded.

“We would like to thank everyone who reported this incident in to us, so we were able to promptly attend and investigate. This was a positive result for the team and enquiries will continue in relation to the offences.”

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