A MAN is in custody on suspicion of the theft of around 40 puppies.

Police were called Saturday (August 22) afternoon following reports from a member of the public that a man was seen to have been loading a number of puppies into a van.

Officers conducted enquiries into the vehicle before liaising with colleagues at West Mercia Police who located and stopped the van on the M6 before detaining the man.

A 24-year-old man from Durham was arrested on suspicion of the theft of puppies and has been transported to custody in Gloucestershire where he remains at this time.

Between 30 and 40 puppies were recovered from the van in Charlton Kings, Cheltenham, and have been taken to an RSPCA vet surgery for assessment.

Officers are asking anyone who has information to call 101 quoting incident 237 of 22 August.

West Mercia's Operations Patrol Unit shared photos of the puppies on Twitter along with this post "B Unit yesterday secured the male on the M6 following a report from @Glos_Police - the male was detained for theft and welfare issues for the puppies. The pups are now in the care of Police & @RSPCA_official."