CIBOLO, Texas - A dog-napper stole a pup straight from the dog catcher Sunday evening, in the first ever burglary at the Cibolo Animal Control facility.
Surveillance video shows a man inside the facility Sunday afternoon, while it was closed for the holiday weekend. The man appears to be casing the facility and focuses on a kennel where a black and white long-haired Chihuahua was being kept. Animal control officers picked up the dog Friday at about 5 p.m. from a resident's backyard.
The man is seen walking back toward his SUV, parked outside the gate, and he speaks to a person inside what police say appears to be a dual-cab Ford truck. The vehicles then leave. A few hours later at about 7:30 p.m., a man returns and goes right to the kennel where the Chihuaha was.
Police Chief Gary Cox says the man tries to use bolt cutters to cut the lock but was unsuccessful, so he cut open the fence door on the kennel. He's seen in the video ripping it open and two other dogs inside that kennel run out. The man then climbs inside and takes the Chihuahua and takes off.
"It made me mad. I figured, why not just wait and pay the $60 to get the dog out? Now he's going to be in a lot of trouble. I hope it's his dog and not somebody else's," Pauline Devendorf said. She discovered the theft Monday afternoon when she went in to clean the kennels on the holiday.
Officers don't know if the man seen in the video is the owner of the dog or if he was trying to avoid paying a $60 reclaim fee.
"We don't know if the owner is involved. We're still investigating," Chief Cox said.
The facility received an email via PetFinder.com from the owner about the lost dog Tuesday. Chief Cox said police have not been able to contact the owner about the theft.
Police need your help identifying the man or vehicles seen in the video and officers are offering up to a $1,000 reward. If you have any information that could help investigators, call Guadalupe County Crime Stoppers at (830) 303-TIPS.