A dog owner is sending out a stern warning to others, after his young pet schnauzer, Wilma, was stolen by an Amazon delivery driver.
Richard Guttfield, 51, was playing snooker in his outbuilding when his parcel was dropped off in the family post box at the top of his drive.
However, after he collected the package and headed inside his house, he immediately noticed something was wrong and a mammoth search ensued with a surprising result.
Richard, from Marsworth, claims: “I noticed something wasn’t right pretty much straight away, she’s normally by my legs jumping up at me with excitement - this was especially strange.
“My daughter, Emily, and her friends came over that evening and helped look but there wasn’t even one sighting in the village.
“At that stage, I never suspected...I thought there was a possibility that the Amazon driver might have accidentally let her out - but that would have been odd as he would have had to have come into my house. But they were the only leads we had.”
Three days later, Richard’s sister found an email for Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, and the next day they had a call from a member of staff at the Amazon Hemel Hempstead office.
The man said it was “his priority to help”, and later called saying that the driver was employed by a third party fulfilment company used by Amazon.
The driver allegedly didn’t remember seeing a puppy, but nevertheless the Hemel staff member told Richard he would use tracking software to see where the van had been.
Richard said: “I got a phone call [from the Hemel staff member] saying ‘can you describe your dog?’, so I did and then he said, ‘I have her here she’s safe’.
“He used the tracking software and seen the driver had gone from my house to his home!
“We were obviouisly blown away. Wilma didn’t seem to recognise us at first, it must have been pretty traumatic.”
Richard would like to thank his fellow villagers and websites Dogs Lost and Murphy’s Army for their support. He also warns other owners to always lock their property.
An Amazon spokesman said: “This is inexcusable and does not reflect the high standards we have for our delivery partners — we take these matters seriously and this individual is no longer delivering Amazon packages for the independent delivery service provider.”