This is the heartbreaking moment a young boy is seen chasing after a brazen thief who stole his puppy while he was taking her for a walk.
Footage shows the increasingly anxious youngster following an older boy who is carrying the pet in his arms.
But when they come to a road crossing, the older boy is shown waiting for a car to pass before sprinting down a street away from the child.
The distressing video was captured on CCTV overlooking Underwood Lane Social Club in Crewe, Cheshire, around midday last Friday.
Police are searching for a young man who was caught on CCTV stealing a Jack Russell dog from a boy while out on a walk
The pair are initially seen walking together, with the older boy carrying the dog. But when they come to a road he sprints off, pictured
The thief then flees the scene, pictured, by running off down a side street near Underwood Lane Social Club in Crewe
The family set up a Facebook appeal to find three-month-old Mela, pictured, and confirmed she has since been found
The dog has since been identified as a three-month-old Jack Russell called Mela and a Facebook page was set up to find her. The family has confirmed she has since been found safe and well.
A statement on the group said: 'This is the moment Mela was stolen from Underwood Lane. The next area this person was caught on camera was Derby Street.
'Prior to this Mela was being walked on her lead. This person approached and joined Mela's young owner on the walk and then proceeded to talk to him and then pick Mela up.
'The young boy hurried along the side of him trying to keep up with him.
'Once they got to this corner that you can see he then decided to make his move and run off with her.
'If you have sound this will break your heart as much as it as ours, he is shouting stop.'
Identifying himself as the boy's father, Aleksandra Pater wrote online: 'The younger boy was my son and the dog was picked up without his permission.
The young boy is seen on CCTV desperately chasing after the thief but cannot keep up
A statement on the Facebook group urged anyone who has information to 'do the right thing' and reunite the boy with Mela
'We had put some posters up in one of the high schools. We believe she is still alive.'
The video sparked an incredible response from people trying to help bring Mela back, as well as angry outbursts from people about the thief.
Pat Taylor said: 'How horrible this poor little boy can't keep up. Bless him. Hopefully everyone keep sharing we will get Mela back to you and [the] little s*** that took Mela will eventually be caught.'
Bev Henderson added: 'Absolutely disgraceful - that poor little boy on a busy road as well. Whoever has taken this pup needs catching. Have the police been given this footage because this is daylight robbery?'
Hayley Parry wrote: 'How can someone just snatch a pup off a little boy like that? Poor boy must be heartbroken. Really wish I knew who it was, is there no way of clearing his face up a bit?'
Joanne McGarry said: 'This lad must be local, does the young lad not know him? He doesn't look uncomfortable walking along with him at the start of the footage. Come on people share this far and wide someone must recognise this lad!'
People on social media have hit out at the thief and suggested he may be known to the boy
Others took pity on the boy after he struggled to keep up and urged people to share the footage so the thief can be caught
Charlotte Henderson-Orme added: 'Somebody may recognise this low life who took this puppy out of this little boy's hands. Poor little boy I hope he's ok. Keep sharing somebody out there may recognise him. Keeping my fingers crossed.'
Cheshire Police are currently investigating the theft and are appealing for information.
A Spokeswoman said: 'Police are appealing for information following the theft of a Jack Russell Terrier puppy in Crewe.
'At 1pm on Friday 4 January police were called to reports of a theft of a Jack Russell Terrier puppy on Badger Avenue in Crewe.
'The victim was walking from Barnabus Avenue to Badger Avenue when a male grabbed the lead of the dog and ran away towards the playing fields at Crossroads.'