THE rocketing popularity of mixed breed dogs has caused a cockapoo crimewave across Britain.
Dogs such as the cocker spaniel-poodle cross, owned by celebrities including Harry Styles and Lady Gaga and labradoodle are now the most popular.
But they have shot up the list of pets most likely to be stolen and sold on in a lucrative black market.
For the first year, mixed breeds have appeared in the top five most stolen types of dog, figures collected by DogLost charity show.
A total of 1,857 dogs were reported as stolen, compared to 1,842 the previous year. Hotspots are West Yorkshire, London and Greater Manchester.
Staffordshire bull terriers top the list, based on police data. Mixed breeds are second, coming in the top five for the first time.
Third is the Chihuahua, followed by French bulldogs and Jack Russells.
DogLost spokeswoman Justine Quirk said: “Dog thefts have increased but they are also likely to be much higher than these figures indicate.”