Owner overjoyed at reunion with dognapped Bertie

Frank Rowe with his dog Bertie. Picture:''' Neil Hanna
Frank Rowe with his dog Bertie. Picture:''' Neil Hanna
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A PENSIONER whose dog was stolen during a carjacking has been reunited with his beloved pet.

Frank Rowe, 65, was fixing his motorcycle near his home in Trinity on Friday when a gang of teenagers pushed him over before one drove away in his Honda CRV with his dog trapped inside.

He feared he would never see two-year-old beagle Bertie again – and was hugely relieved when the dog was found unharmed around a mile away that afternoon.

But having faced a sustained campaign of antisocial behaviour in his neighbourhood in recent months, Mr Rowe said he and his wife were now looking to leave the Capital.

He said: “My wife and I were both really upset when Bertie was gone.

“The car is damaged but I cared far more about the dog.”

The grandfather had left the keys in the engine so he could listen to the car radio and his tools were resting in the open boot, where Bertie had 
curled up to keep him company.

Mr Rowe, who retired from his job as a lorry driver in December, told the Evening News: “I saw these kids hanging about but I didn’t think anything of it.

“Suddenly my car started moving and I thought, ‘What the heck?’ I managed to open the car door and tried to grab him but I was thrown from the car into the street.”

Mr Rowe, who has no feeling in his left hand following a lorry crash in 2013, was left with bruises after the altercation.

He said: “It was unbelievable. The car sped off down the wrong side of the road like it was in Starsky and Hutch.”

This is the latest in a string of incidents which have made Mr Rowe and his wife Trisha, 54, fear for their safety.

As reported in the Evening News, Mr Rowe lodged an official complaint with the Chief Constable in December after he collared a gang of teenagers who were vandalising cars but police failed to turn up until over an hour later.

Mr Rowe, who has lived in the Capital for more than 15 years, said: “Everything has just got out of hand. Some nights we have 15 or 20 teenagers running up and down and getting up to all sorts.

“I’m absolutely going to leave the city, as I’ve had enough of it.”

Councillor Chas Booth, ward representative for Leith, said incidents of antisocial behaviour were raised time and again by residents. He said: “That’s very concerning to hear that he has been so affected by antisocial behaviour that he is now considering leaving Edinburgh.

“The issue is one that is brought up in community council meetings and one that is raised with me by residents on a fairly regular basis.

“I know police work very hard to deal with incidents like this when they occur but it seems to me in this case they could have been doing more.”

Mr Rowe’s damaged car was found in Wardieburn a few hours after being stolen.

A Police Scotland spokesman said the force was following “a positive line of inquiry”.

lizzy.buchan@edinburghnews.com