A panicked roofer today thanked his army of heroes after his work van was stolen - with his beloved pet dog inside.
Ian Weaver, 48, was working at a house on Leicester Avenue, Cleveleys when a thief stole his van and drove off at speed, with border terrier Spike in the passenger seat.
Ian gave chase in his son’s car but lost sight of the van as it roared off towards Blackpool at 11.45am on Wednesday.
The van was found on Caunce Street - but two-year-old Spike was nowhere to be seen.
An urgent appeal on Facebook saw an army of helpers hit the streets to find Spike as Ian’s frantic wife Michelle and sons Harrison, 25, and Max, 19, grew increasingly concerned for their missing pooch.
Ian, of Antrim Road, North Shore, said: “We were doing a job in Leicester Avenue with the van parked on the drive. I had just stepped on to the back scaffolding when I heard a big roar and saw the van tearing down the street.
We were doing a job in Leicester Avenue with the van parked on the drive. I had just stepped on to the back scaffolding when I heard a big roar and saw the van tearing down the street
“We jumped in my lad’s car and gave chase but couldn’t catch it.”
Police were called and the van was found on the corner of Caunce Street and Layton Road, with the alleged thief collared by police.
But Spike was nowhere to be seen.
Ian said: “I wasn’t bothered about the van, it was all about getting Spike back. I was hoping whoever stole it would have let him out of the van - they had thrown his dog bowl out because we saw it on smashed on the side of the road.
“We put an urgent appeal on Facebook and everyone came out looking for him.
“Someone said they thought they had seen him on Warbreck Hill Road near B&Q so my wife raced down there.”
Harrison said: “I was in Norcross Vets seeing if he they had heard from anyone and someone commented on Facebook that they had seen him near B&Q wandering around. I contacted her and then rang my mum and she went down and found him.”
Ian said: “He was panting his head off, he must have been panicking and it was hot too. I think he must have been trying to find his way home.”
Ian thanked everyone for their help in tracking Spike down, especially Faye Kyra Eley, who messaged Harrison having spotted the lost dog near Washington Avenue.
But it’s Ian who is in the dog house now!
“I take Spike to work with me every day but I’m not allowed any more!” he said.
“He’s relaxing at home - I’m just glad he’s back and I want to thank everyone, especially Faye and the police, for all their help.”
A Lancashire Police spokesman said: “A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of aggravated vehicle taking and has been bailed to September 21.”