Police are warning Wiltshire dog owners to keep their pets locked inside, after a gang in a 4x4 attempted to steal beloved animals.

A green/silver coloured Suzuki 4x4 - possibly a Vitara model - is being hunted in connection with attempted raids on homes in Wiltshire on Wednesday, November 18.

A group of men targeted homes and tried to steal pet dogs, reports to Wiltshire Police suggest.

The force said there were a number of attempts to steal dogs this week.

Some of the attempts involved members of the gang trying to distract the occupants of a home, before going round the back to try to target a pet.

In a post on Wiltshire Police's Facebook page, officers said: "We're appealing for information in relation to reports that a group of men are travelling around the eastern part of Wiltshire attempting to steal pet dogs.

"On Wednesday, November 18, a green/silver coloured Suzuki 4x4 - possibly a Vitara model - was seen driving around the Shalbourne, Bedwyn, Bagshot and Hungerford area with the occupants attempting to take dogs from kennels, gardens and back yards of addresses.

"In some cases a suspect will ring the front door bell while another goes around the back of the property to try and steal the animals.

"We are asking people to be vigilant and keep their dogs locked inside the house or ensure their kennels are safe and secure.

"Anyone with any information about this vehicle or the occupants should call us on 101 quoting crime reference number 54200115124. Please call 999 if a crime is in progress.

"Alternatively, you can report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."