A man has been arrested over the theft of a dog that was “too hot to hold” following a Twitter appeal involving more than 50,000 people.

Ted, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, was snatched from outside Tesco Express, in Friern Barnet Lane, New Southgate, on December 8.

Investigating officers from Barnet Police later published a tweet on the micro-blogging site appealing for information on behalf of the pet’s distraught owner, 75-year-old Philomena Hynes.

The message was retweeted 52,820 times before the dog was found tied to a gate in Friary Park by a young girl a few days later.

Police said Ted must have been “too hot to hold” following the huge public response and officers began an investigation to trace the dog snatcher.

This morning, a 23-year-old man from New Barnet was arrested on suspicion of the theft.

He is currently being questioned at a north London police station.