Dog thieves are posing as animal control officers in southern Illinois, police say

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PINCKNEYVILLE, Illinois. — Dog owners in southern Illinois are watching for fake animal control officers who are believed to have stolen purebred dogs out of people’s back yards.

Perry County Sheriff Steve Bareis said a pair of men are stealing dogs as they drive in a white pick up truck and act like animal control officers.

“They’ve been taken out of fenced areas and so forth, they’re basically patrolling during the day for them and they seem to be coming back at night or making sure people are gone and taking them at that time,” Bareis said.

Bareis added that at least twice the thieves were scared off by owners, but they’re also likely to keep trying to take the dogs until they’re caught. Five dogs have been stolen in Perry, Randolph and Washington counties.

Bareis said he suspects the stolen dogs have already been sold, since some are worth thousands of dollars.