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Cameras Capture Man Dognapping Puppy from Santa Maria Animal Shelter

Videos show suspect throwing 7-month-old pit bull over 7-foot fence, then calmly walking back inside and leaving

Authorities are searching for the man wearing the dark jacket and cap in this photo taken from a surveillance video at the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter in Santa Maria. The man is a suspect in the Thursday afternoon dognapping of a 7-month-old pit bull at the facility.
Authorities are searching for the man wearing the dark jacket and cap in this photo taken from a surveillance video at the Santa Barbara County Animal Services shelter in Santa Maria. The man is a suspect in the Thursday afternoon dognapping of a 7-month-old pit bull at the facility. (Santa Barbara County Animal Services photo)

A puppy was stolen from the Santa Maria Animal Shelter in a brazen dognapping captured on video.

Santa Barbara County Animal Services representatives noted the incident on the shelter’s Facebook page Saturday, saying the puppy, named Riley, was taken at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday from the facility at 548 W. Foster Road.

The shelter’s video shows the man entering the facility’s front door. At the time he was wearing a blue jacket, jeans and a Realtree baseball cap.

Other video shows the alleged dognapper walking back into the shelter before he leaves, returning from the back of the property apparently after taking the puppy from the dog kennel area.

When he returned, the man had ditched the jacket and was wearing a light-colored T-shirt with the jeans and the Realtree cap.

Animal Services representatives posted a series of surveillance videos showing the suspect and theft. Scroll down to view the videos.

“In this video, the suspect can be see throwing Riley over the fence, climbing after him and chasing him in the field behind the shelter,” Animal Services staff said. “We worry that Riley may be injured as a result of this nearly 7-foot fall.”

Riley, a dark gray-and-white pit bull, is about 7 months old and was recently neutered.

The puppy reportedly arrived at the shelter after being removed from a situation in which dogs were kept in poor conditions.

“We feel like someone has to know who this person is,” Animal Services staff said. “Hopefully, they will call and report.”

Riley, a 7-month-old pit bull, was taken from the Santa Maria animal shelter on Thursday afternoon. He is dark gray and white and was recently neutered. Click to view larger
Riley, a 7-month-old pit bull, was taken from the Santa Maria animal shelter on Thursday afternoon. He is dark gray and white and was recently neutered. (Santa Barbara County Animal Services photo)

The social media posts have been shared dozens of times as those who commented expressed concern for the dog’s safety and health.

For both visits, the man allegedly parked in areas without surveillance cameras so a description of his vehicle was not available.

Anyone with information on the man’s identity or location is urged to contact Santa Maria police at 805.928.3781 or the Santa Maria Animal Center at 805.934.6119.

The nonprofit Davey’s Voice, which works to prevent animal abuse, has offered a $3,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the thief, according to Gretchen Lieff, a spokeswoman for the organization.

Animal Services operates three shelters in Santa Barbara County, with the others in Lompoc and Santa Barbara.

In early 2016, rabbits and a rooster were stolen from the Santa Maria shelter, authorities said.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

 
Stolen Dog 4/13/17

In this video, the suspect the the dog napping of Riley, is seen walking back into the shelter before he leaves only to return from the back and steal Riley.

Posted by Santa Barbara County Animal Services on Saturday, April 15, 2017
Stolen Dog 4-13-17

This is video 1 where the suspect (wearing the blue jacket, jeans and a Realtree baseball cap) in the dognapping of Riley is seen entering the shelter.

Posted by Santa Barbara County Animal Services on Saturday, April 15, 2017
Stolen Dog 4/13/17

In this video, the suspect can be seen carrying Riley out the back of the shelter.

Posted by Santa Barbara County Animal Services on Saturday, April 15, 2017
Stolen Dog 4/13/17

In this video, the suspect can be see throwing Riley over the fence, climbing after him, and chasing him in the field behind the shelter. We worry that Riley may be injured as a result of this nearly 7-foot fall.

Posted by Santa Barbara County Animal Services on Saturday, April 15, 2017
Stolen Dog 4/13/17

In this video, the suspect can be seen walking back into the dog kennel area.

Posted by Santa Barbara County Animal Services on Saturday, April 15, 2017
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