How Thieves Are Targeting Pet Owners At Dog Parks

flickr image by: Susan Shepard
Authorities are warning dog owners visiting any of the city's parks to be wary of your surroundings. They say criminals are targeting unsuspecting visitors who may become distracted because they may be focused on their furry family members.

Responsible pet owners don't think twice about giving their animals undivided attention when visiting a dog park. It is an occurrence that has caught the eye of criminals.

A woman, visiting the Bill Archer Dog Park Saturday morning, found her passenger-side window broken when she returned to her car a few hour later.

Harris County Constable Precinct-5 Assistant Chief Deputy John Laine says his deputies have been trying to find burglars breaking into vehicles there:

"Archer Dog Park has been relatively safe for a long time and the number of break-ins versus the people that go there is pretty low. But having said that, it's an exercise facility of sorts, and generally you don't want to carry your purse and your phone and everything else when you're playing with your dog, so you secure it in the car when you leave. Unfortunately sometimes, something's left in the open where they can see it."

Chief Lane recalls one arrest they made with more sinister ideas than just a random theft.

"The gentleman that was producing counterfeit IDs. He had folks' driver's license, social security numbers, date of birth, home phones and people would go to telephone stores and open accounts and purchase telephones in your name. So, just in a moment's time there, your wallet gets taken and who knows where it leads from there?"

Thieves realize pets are an easy distraction. Laine says in a public area never let your guard down.

"I know that our District Attorney's office and several of the fraud units are conducting pretty aggressive follow-ups on these matters so the more information we have the better. If you're a victim of crime, please report it."   

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...