A FRENCH bulldog was stolen from a family’s front garden by callous crooks, leaving the owners devastated.

Tracy Brown is desperately pleading with whoever has five-year-old Lexi to bring her home after she was taken on Monday between 5pm and 5.30pm.

The adorable pet was stolen from Tracy’s front garden on North Crockerford, in Vange.

Lexi, who has been with the family for just 14 months, had been out in the garden with the family’s other dog Bert the border terrier.

Tracy immediately knew something was wrong when Bert was the only dog to come inside the home when she called them for dinner, immediately launching a neighbourhood hunt to find him.

It follows reports on social media earlier this year about a rise in dog thefts.

The 55-year-old said: “We came in and both dogs ran out into the garden, my grandson had kicked the gate shut.

“I was just about to feed them when I realised she’d never came in, but Bert had. I went into such a panic.

“She can jump the fence, so we’re not sure if she got over and was then picked up or if someone saw her and grabbed her directly from the garden.”

The family have not been notified of any sightings of Lexi since her disappearance four days ago.

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Having plastered appeals on social media, put posters through doors and searched far and wide, Tracy fears they have now reached a dead end.

She continued: “We have looked everywhere we can think of, including doing the walks she normally goes on.

“All the vets and dog shelters have been made aware, we even had the neighbours and family help look to.

“She really is the perfect dog, it’s sickening to think someone has probably stolen her.

“To anyone who might have her please just bring her home, that’s all we want.”

A spokesman from Essex Police, said: “We are investigating reports of a dog being stolen from a front garden in North Crockerford, Basildon, between 5pm and 5.30pm on Monday.

“The dog in question is a five-year-old black and white female French bulldog which is microchipped.

“Our enquiries are ongoing and we would encourage anyone who has seen Lexi or knows where she is to submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk.

“You can also call us on 101 and cite 42/99123/21.”