Ocala, Florida — Authorities are now issuing an alert to all Marion County residents in regards to pit bull puppies.
On Monday, June 10, 2014, 17 more pit bull puppies were stolen from a yard in the 7600 block of NW 49th Avenue.
The victim told deputies that she left her home around 8 p.m. to eat and at approximately 9:15 p.m. the victims boyfriend noticed the dogs were gone from their pens.
The suspect(s) crossed a privacy fence into the victims backyard and made off with the puppies.
This theft makes a total of 29 pit bull puppies that have been stolen since May 21, 2014.
The puppies are either being stolen solely for the resale value or possibly to be sold and then trained for dog fighting, authorities said.
The combined estimated value of the 29 stolen pit bull puppies is $15,000.
In all instances of the thefts, victims had left their homes for just a few short hours. This most likely means that the suspect(s) are casing potential targets.
Many times, if they are able to, the suspect(s) will take photos prior to stealing the dogs. If you see anything suspicious, report it right away. Take down the license plate number of any suspicious or unfamiliar vehicle(s) in your area.
The victim in this newest case stated that there was a burgundy late 90’s vehicle parked on the side of her house prior to the dogs being stolen.
If you are someone breeding pit bulls for resale, you should be very wary of potential buyers that come to your home after responding to advertisements. Sellers posting puppies for sale on Craigslist should use extra caution.
On May 21, 2014, five pit bull puppies were stolen from inside an Ocala home. The thief is suspected to be someone that had previously shown interest in the puppies.
Anyone with information can call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at 732-9111 or Crime Stoppers at 368-STOP, text a tip to 274637 using keyword 368-STOP, or visit www.ocalacrimestoppers.com.