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Report: Dog thefts on the rise in the Baltimore area

Although it may not be the first thing readers assume would be stolen, Baltimore area animal advocates have reported a large increase in the number dog thefts. According to reports, people are taking dogs that are considered to be a valuable breed and selling them.

Even though some observers note that there has been a marked increase in the number of dogs stolen from area yards and homes, Baltimore police say they haven’t noticed this trend. Regardless, law enforcement officials will not hesitate to take swift legal action against anyone suspected of theft.

If a person believes they will be able to sell a pure-bred dog for a profit, they may be motivated to commit an illegal act. Specifically, it’s been noted that the shaky economy and job market have pushed a lot of people into criminal behavior just to get by. This is why people are resorting to dog theft, rather than property crimes involving valuable electronics or vehicles.

Beyond stealing for a financial motive, some people note that some pets are being stolen and sold for dog fighting. If someone is caught taking animals for this reason, they may face multiple charges, since dog fighting operations are also illegal.

Everyone accused of theft is entitled to a fair, impartial trial. During this time, the defendant and his or her attorney will have the opportunity to lay out a case that responds to the accusations made by prosecutors. As trials proceed, it’s important to take all aspects of a case into account. This may be especially important during the sentencing phase of the criminal process.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, “Baltimore-area dog thefts on rise, owners, observers say,” Jonathan Pitts, May 2, 2013

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