A DISTRAUGHT dog owner who fears his much-loved pet might have been stolen is offering a cash reward for his safe return.

Heartbroken Ben Brown, of Milton Road, Lawford, has owned, Ralph, a five-year-old Jack Russell since he was a seven week old puppy.

But Ben, 34, has not seen Ralph since he ran off while being walked in Chequers Road, Little Bromley, at 1pm on Tuesday.

Ben now fears Ralph, who was not wearing a collar or microchip, may have been stolen after running off and pleaded for his pet’s safe return.

Ben said he saw a blue or violet parked car with blacked out windows in a nearby lane open and close its doors before driving away just after Ralph went missing.

“He is a lovely dog - he is soft, gentle and will go up to anyone."

If you have seen Ralph, call Ben on 07894865511 or 01206 391142.

A police spokesperson urged anyone with information to call police at Mistley Police Station on 101.