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Montrose woman says ‘suspicious’ pair tried to steal dog from garden centre

Allana Urquhart with collie Luna at the garden centre.
Allana Urquhart with collie Luna at the garden centre.

A Montrose woman has told how she believes two people tried to steal her dog from the garden centre she runs.

Allana Urquhart contacted police after seeing a man and a woman acting suspiciously outside Rossie Braes Garden Centre on Monday afternoon.

She says the pair parked nearby in a dark green van for about 10 minutes, and each made separate approaches to Luna, a five-year-old collie.

Allana, 54, says they then drove off quickly after she tried to confront them.

Allana has run the centre for 17 years.
Allana has run the centre for 17 years.

She was eating lunch with her son in the centre, while watching the security cameras for customers arriving, when she became concerned about the pair’s actions.

Allana told The Courier: “We’ve been there for 17 years and Luna will be our fourth dog coming to work every day.

“All the dogs are trained not to cross the boundaries as we’re next to a busy road.

Dark van parked nearby

“The dogs tend to greet people at the gates and Luna was doing what she does every day of the week.

“Initially it wasn’t too suspect, as people have said hello to the dogs in the past as they come in.

“But this chap wasn’t entering, and we knew they had parked in a dark van nearby.”

Allana and Luna
The dog was approached at the entrance to the centre.

Allana says she approached the man to ask if he needed assistance, but he claimed to be wasting time while his wife put on lipstick.

He left then returned to play with Luna again, before the woman in the van then approached the dog separately.

Allana said: “She did exactly what he did at the gate, but this time Luna just stood there.

‘It was all very suspicious’

“Then I saw the woman bend down and wrap her arms around her – I thought she was looking for a collar.

“I jumped out my seat and ran around. My son was right behind me, he walked right out with his phone to the van and they sped off.

“It was all very suspicious. We informed police as we had a gut feeling and wanted to make people aware.

“I wasn’t too happy with how they were behaving.”

Luna regularly greets customers.
Luna regularly greets customers.

Allana says the pair were both white and looked like they could be in their mid-50s.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “At around 12.35pm on Monday, police were called to a report of a suspected attempted theft of a dog from a garden centre in Rossie Braes, Montrose.

“Inquiries into the incident are continuing.”

Data released earlier this year showed dog thefts had risen by 42% in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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