Police in Whitby and other areas of the county want to reassure residents that there are no gangs of dog thieves operating in the area and placing stickers on vehicles.
A local officer who was called by concerned residents, has enlisted the advice of a local tyre fitter to prove that marks left on vehicle tyres are not the work of dog-nappers.
Rumours have been circulating on social media sites that dog thieves have been placing stickers on vehicle tyres to mark the homes of dog owners, ready for them to go back and steal the dogs. This is not the case.
The red and yellow dots seen on tyres are placed there by tyre manufacturers. The red dot denotes the heaviest part of the tyre and a yellow dot denotes the lightest. They are not the work of dog thieves.
Dogs do get stolen under a variety of circumstances and owners should always be vigilant and follow basic security advice.
Advice for dog owners
If you see any suspicious activity, vehicles or people - but not postings on social media - please call the police on 101
If you see a crime in progress, always dial 999.
Stray dogs should be reported to your local council's dog warden.
6.08pm - 11 March 2013