Two men yanked a woman’s dog off her while she was walking her pet on a field.

Detectives are keen to trace the culprits, who struck at around 4pm on Sunday in Widnes.

Cheshire police said the victim, in her 50s, was walking her dog on a field between Wade Deacon High School and Widnes Rugby Union Football Club when the two men approached.

They grabbed the pet’s lead and yanked it away from its owner, then ran off with it to an alleyway leading to Lynton Crescent.

The victim followed them into the street where she found her dog abandoned without its lead.

Police said both robbers were white, slim and looked to be in their early 20s.

They spoke with Widnes accents and had white soles on their trainers.

One crook was wearing a blue Pyrenex coat with the hood up, over what police said was mousey hair that was short on the back and sides with a long fringe.

The other man had short dark hair and stubble on his face.

He was wearing a full navy blue Under Armour tracksuit.

Keep up to date with coronavirus cases in your area by using your postcode below

Enquiries are ongoing and detectives are keen to hear from anyone with information or footage that might aid the investigation.

The appeal follows several similar incidents reported in Widnes and Runcorn in recent months and dog thefts becoming an increasing problem for the nation.

Detective Constable Rob Catterall, of Widnes CID, said: “The victim is hugely relieved to still have her dog, but she has understandably been left extremely shaken up by this incident.

“I would like to reassure members of the community that we take incidents of this nature extremely seriously and are doing all we can to establish who targeted the victim’s dog and make them face the consequences of their actions.

“Enquiries are ongoing and I urge anyone who was in the area and saw anything that may help our investigation to come forward.

“Perhaps you witnessed the incident or believe that you saw the two offenders, either before they snatched the dog or as they were fleeing the scene.

“We also want to hear from anyone who thinks they may know who the men are, or have CCTV or dashcam footage of them.”

Anyone with information or footage that may help the investigation should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 862397, provide details online or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.