Durham Regional Police say they have located the stolen van that is said to have at least 12 dogs inside, but the thief, who they claim is armed, is still at large.

The van was located near High Street in Whitby.

Police said in a tweet that the dogs are fine and they are working on reuniting the animals with the rightful owners.

Officers are still searching the area for the suspect.

Police say the dog walker who owns the vehicle was in the area of Garden Street and Manning around 11:30 when she was approached by an armed man, who is described as white, tall and slim. The man demanded that she hand over the vehicle.

Police are advising residents not to approach the suspect, but instead call  911 with a location.