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Schoolboy held to ransom over puppy theft

PUBLISHED: 15:53 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 07 September 2010

Hassan Iqbal has had his puppy

Hassan Iqbal has had his puppy "Klay"stolen from the garden

© Nigel Sutton 17 Redington Rd,London,NW37QX. Phone 020 7794 3008. email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Ben McPartland A schoolboy in the middle of his GCSE exams was left devastated when his treasured puppy was taken before a mysterious caller demanded money for its return. Hassan Iqbal, 15, was distraught when his four-month-old dog, Klay, vanished from

Ben McPartland

A schoolboy in the middle of his GCSE exams was left devastated when his treasured puppy was taken before a mysterious caller demanded money for its return.

Hassan Iqbal, 15, was distraught when his four-month-old dog, Klay, vanished from the back garden of his family's Haverstock Hill home on May 20.

After plastering Belsize Park and Kentish Town with posters appealing for help, he received an anonymous call from someone demanding £100 for the safe return of the dog.

Hassan paid up and the puppy was returned, albeit battered and bruised which he suspects means it was involved in a dog fight.

He said: "It is disgusting but at least I have my dog back. I would rather have him than the money."

The people who returned the dog arranged to meet Hassan near his house.

They told him they had paid £100 for it and just wanted the money to cover their loss.

Police are now investigating the suspected theft and Klay's return.

Hassan says the puppy, a rare cross breed between a Staffordshire bull terrier and a German shepherd, is a real "softie", despite the breed.

He believes the puppy has been scarred by the experience.

"It has definitely been in a fight while they had it," he said.

"It is disgusting. I have taken it to the vet and fed it a lot because it was really skinny, I could see its ribs. He is really traumatised by what has happened."

The Haverstock School pupil should have been studying for his GSCEs but instead spent all last week desperately trying to track down his pet.

It is not the first time Hassan has had a dog stolen from him.

When he bought Klay in March along with another puppy he was threatened by youths on the way home and forced to hand over the other dog.

He was beaten up as he tried to get the dog back, before stuffing Klay into his jacket and running home.

Hassan's mother Noreen said: "He had wanted a dog for ages. When he first brought it back I said take it back but after he told me the other dog had been stolen I thought I would have to let him keep it."

A police spokeswoman said: "Camden Police can confirm we are investigating the theft of a dog on Friday March 20.

"A 16 and a 17-year-old boy have been arrested in connection with the incident and bailed to return to a Camden police station. Enquiries continue.

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