Dog theft: Police investigating after man fights off intruders on his doorstep who were trying to steal his dogs

The thieves pretended to have a delivery before trying to force their way into his home

Police have launched an investigation after three men attempted to force their way into a man’s home to steal his dogs.

Ryan Hesford, 33, sustained minor injuries after he defended himself, according to police, and prevented the thieves from stealing his pets.

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In a statement, South Yorkshire police said that nothing was stolen from the property and they are appealing for information about the incident.

Dog theft: Police investigating after man fights off three intruders on his doorstep who were trying to steal his dogs (Photos: SWNS)

Home alone

Mr Hesford was home alone with his three dogs on Wednesday night when he was alarmed to hear someone persistently ringing his doorbell and banging on his door, just before 9pm.

Ryan attempted to speak to them from inside the house via his Ring doorbell, which captures video and allows you to speak through a built-in microphone to any doorstep callers.

But when he couldn't connect to the doorbell through his phone, Ryan went to answer the door.

Dramatic footage captured by the doorbell shows the three men, two of whom were wearing masks, attempt to shove past Ryan into his home in Doncaster, South Yorks.

During the scuffle - in which one of the masked men can be seen brandishing a metal bar - one man does manage to get into Ryan's house, and is seen looking around, trying to find the barking dogs.

But just a few seconds later, one of Ryan's neighbours came to his aid as he wrestled the other two men away from his front door - and the three men can then be seen scarpering off down the road.

Property manager Ryan said: "The whole thing happened in literally 16 seconds from when I opened my front door.

"But I just feel so lucky that the guy who got into my house didn't open the door to the room where the dogs were. The good thing is that the dogs are safe.

"I have two Shih tzus and a Pomeranian, which I believe are massive on the hit list of dogs going missing at the moment."

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‘I didn’t hear the knocking’

Ryan added that he didn't realise until he watched the Ring footage back later on that one of the men had actually got into his house during the commotion.

He said: "That was scary to watch back. But it looks like he panicked after a few seconds of getting in, and then he just left again."

The Ring doorbell footage shows one of the men, with a distinctive neck tattoo, knock on Ryan's front door twice, appearing impatient as he waited for an answer.

When the dogs started barking from inside the house, the man then moved to the front window and tried to peer in through the blinds, before knocking twice on the window.

Ryan said: "I was actually doing some work on my laptop and I had my headphones in, so I didn't hear the knocking.

"I got a notification through the Ring app on my phone saying there was motion in my front yard, but I looked at the camera and couldn't see anything - so I assumed maybe an animal had wandered through.

"Then I noticed the dogs jumping up at the window, which they only do when somebody is at the door."

The Ring footage then shows Ryan answering the door, and the man with the neck tattoo can be heard saying, "Parcel for Gary?".

‘I needed to get them away from my house’

When Ryan attempts to tell the man that there is no Gary at that address, the man lunges at him - with one of his masked accomplices also piling into the scuffle.

Ryan said: "I could tell as soon as I opened the door that something wasn't right.

"He seemed really agitated on his feet, he was shifting from left to right.

"I attempted to slam the door on him as he came for me, but he and the other two pushed back and I've been left with a big black eye.

"Two of them did also have metal bars, which I think is how I've got the big cut and bruise that have been left on my right arm.

"All I could think was that I needed to get them away from my house.

"I managed to wrestle two of them out the front, and then I jumped over the wall and knocked on my neighbour's window, and they came out to help me.

"That's when all three of them ran off down the road."

‘A really good response’

Ryan has now shared the footage with police, who are circulating it in an attempt to track down the men.

He said: "The police got here within five minutes of the men running off - it was a really good response, I can't fault them.

"They were here with crime scene officers and forensics until about 2am."

And Ryan added: "I just want to get the footage out there to warn others to be aware of people like this.

"Not everybody would be able to fight back like I did. It's harrowing to think what might have happened next if it was an old lady that they targeted."

South Yorkshire Police confirmed to NationalWorld that they are investigating the incident, which took place on Wednesday evening in Thorne, South Yorkshire.

"Police were called at around 9pm on Wednesday 7 April 2021 to reports of an attempted burglary at an address in the Thorne area of Doncaster.

"It is reported that three men attempted to gain entry to an address in Kirton Lane. The occupant, a 33-year-old man, defended himself and prevented the men from entering the property. He suffered minor injuries in the process. Nothing was stolen and the men fled the scene.

"An investigation has been launched to find those responsible. If you have any information that might help our officers in their enquiries, please call 101 quoting incident number 953 of 7 April.

"Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website or by calling their UK Contact Centre on 0800 555 111.