A man has been left “devastated” after his dog was stolen while he was being treated by paramedics.
Joel Banks had collapsed in the street and was being loaded into the back of an ambulance on a stretcher when two thugs fled with his Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross.
The distraught 33-year-old had been walking his beloved dog – called Ghost – to his home when he suddenly fell to the ground unconscious.
A passerby called 999 for an ambulance and when medics arrived on the scene they were approached by two men who allegedly told them that they knew Joel and could look after his one-year-old pup.
Joel, from London, was then taken to hospital but came increasingly concerned when no one could tell him where his dog – who is worth £5,000 – was.
He then reported the missing dog to the police, who are currently investigating the theft.
He’s since been desperately searching for his four-legged friend around the knocking on doors in hopes of any sign of him.
Talking about his beloved pet, Joel said: “Ghost is my best friend and my whole world.
“I’m absolutely devastated. I’ve had him since he was a few weeks old and he goes everywhere with me.”
Joel had been taking Ghost on a walk in Downham, near Bromley, on November 8 when he quickly fell ill.
He collapsed outside Morley’s chicken shop and staff came out to help him, but he doesn’t remember much of the incident.
He added: “I remember going to my friend’s house with Ghost, but then must have collapsed.
“Someone told paramedics they were my good friends and would look after Ghost. Next thing I know I woke in hospital the next day without my little boy and soon realised he’d been stolen.”
The heartbroken dog owner has since been told that two men were spotted with Ghost, he said: “He was seen being dragged away by two men whilst in the presence of Morley’s staff.
“It was while I was being tolled on a stretcher after collapsing. I have been going door-to-door ever since trying to find him.”
Joel is now concerned about what the thieves will do with Ghost, adding: “I have trained him to be so obedient, but worry now that he’s in the wrong hands and made to be aggressive.”
A spokesperson for Met Police confirmed that the incident is under investigation.
They said: “Police are investigating an allegation of theft after it was reported that a dog was stolen from outside a pub in Downham Way, Lewisham, on the evening of Tuesday, 8 November.
“No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.”