Local News

Men pose as animal control officers to steal pets

Posted November 1, 2011

— Animal control officers in Randolph, Montgomery and Moore counties are warning pet owners to be careful after reports of three men posing as officers to steal dogs.

The Moore County Sheriff's Office is investigating a case where the men tried to take a Great Dane along Borden Road in the High Falls area, outside of Robbins, a couple of weeks ago.

Kim Cox said she was returning home from a trip to the store when she saw the men standing in her yard with her dog's head in a catch pole.

"She was swinging her head back and forth," Cox said of her dog, Freckles.

Cox said the three men looked official. They had matching uniforms and white trucks with dog cages inside.

"They looked legit, or I would have been asking questions. I just wanted to know why they were taking my dog," she said.

Cox said the men questioned where she lived and if she really owned the dog. 

"I told him if you let her off the pole, she’ll come to me,” Cox said.

The men let Cox have her dog back but said they would return in a couple weeks to make sure Freckles had her rabies shot.

After her encounter with the men, Cox called Moore County Animal Control. Officer Frank Ringelberg told her the men did not work for animal control.

Ringelberg said the men are targeting certain dogs, especially those who are friendly and easy to pick up and reselling them to other people or possibly veterinary labs. The goal is to make money. A Great Dane, for example, can be resold for a significant amount, he said.

freckles Men pose as animal control officers

Ringelberg said the main thing to note about the men is that they do not have Moore County Animal Control seals on their white trucks and do not wear badges.

"All our agents are in uniform, all marked. Our trucks are marked. We are really easy to identify," Ringelberg said.

The impostors are described as wearing white shirts and blue pants.

Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call the Moore County Sheriff's Office at 910-947-2931.


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  • familyfour Nov 2, 2011

    I'm not exactly proud to say this, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't hurt someone messing with my dogs. I shouldn't be put to the test and might regret it later.
    November 2, 2011 12:28 p.m.

    Ditto! I know I would! My dog is my middle child.

  • Scubagirl Nov 2, 2011

    Lucky she got home when she did. Hope they catch these guys and soon.

  • barbstillkickin Nov 2, 2011

    Well I hate to say it to randow2 but I think I would probably make the evening news. My dogs are kept inside and when they go out I go with them in my fenced in yard. My dogs are like my babies as yours are to you. These men who are acting like officers should be ashamed to do this. If your dog is taken by animal control pretenders and you see this do not and I repeat do not let them take your dog. Tell them you will call police to handle the situation. I Know Duh Huh.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 2, 2011

    Das G
    November 2, 2011 10:36 a.m.

  • wildcat Nov 2, 2011

    Keep your precious pets inside. Report any suspicious people in your community to the police.

  • randow23 Nov 2, 2011

    I'm not exactly proud to say this, but I'm not sure that I wouldn't hurt someone messing with my dogs. I shouldn't be put to the test and might regret it later.

  • Das G Nov 2, 2011

    Why is it that WRAL never can give and accurate description of the suspects other than what clothes they were wearing?

    I read on another site "Ringelberg said the three white men were dressed in white shirts and blue pants and carrying catch poles." and, "One suspect has gray hair and is estimated to be in his 40s or 50s. The other two men are younger, believed to be in their 30s."

    It's not much more, but at least it's enough to keep people looking out for these guys.

  • bjm011366 Nov 2, 2011

    the economy really is in bad shape isn't it.. the things that people think of to make money. i just don't have a criminal mind I guess.

  • Ambygirl Nov 2, 2011

    aco419-- I know you have a very under appreciated job. Thank you for all you do and have to do each day. We have to be responsible owners (parents) and do what is right for our 'children'. And as you said, ask for ID, get a license plate number, call the police, anything but don't shoot first and ask questions later! Take care and be safe!

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 2, 2011

    Harnett Co. was not menition, but there is rash of missing dogs here in the past few weeks. Some being taking right out of pens.