Nearly two dozen dogs missing in Chicago Lawn

Nearly two dozen dogs missing in Chicago Lawn

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Dozens of missing dogs on the city's Southwest Side has pet owners concerned that there may be a dog theft ring operating in their neighborhood.

The thieves appear to be targeting high priced dogs, and as many as 20 may have been stolen.

“It's like my heart is missing a little piece,” said Estella Alonso, who’s dog disappeared.

The Alonso family’s four month old teacup Pomeranian disappeared Monday. She and her husband Antonio had left their thousand dollar pet in their backyard while they ran an errand. When they came home, Minnie was gone.

They don't believe she ran away. A neighbor said he had seen a suspicious man leaving their double gated yard.

“He was on a bike and he came in, and he had a backpack and he ran out of our house, he said that the bag was moving but at the moment he didn't think anything of it,” said Antonio.

The Alonso's put up dozens of missing dog fliers around their neighborhood and in the process noticed that many other people had done the same.

“I only have talked to four people, but I have seen over 20 different dogs and posters around the neighborhood. I started connecting the dots. In one month 20 dogs are missing, that is not coincidence,” said Estella.

“She was stolen, I'm sure she was stolen,” said Cristina Barraza, whose dog also disappeared.

Barraza was one of the people the Estella Alonso contacted. Her siberian husky puppy Maya vanished two weeks ago. After posting it on Facebook, a man contacted her saying someone had offered him the dog.

“They tried to sell the dog to him, he didn't have the money. They asked him for $500 dollars, he's like I don't have the money. He said I'll give you $100 and they said no,” said Barraza.

After getting a tip that her dog had been seen at a house a few blocks away, the two families went to ask the woman about their pets.

“I found her and then I had her in the back yard and she got out the fence and left, then I saw her 3-4 days ago with a guy that had her on a leash in the park,” said Jacqueline Welter.

The two families are hoping by getting the word out, they and others might get their dogs back.

“To us it's not just a pet, it's part of our family,” added Barraza.

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