Men posing as animal control steal dogs

Perry County deputies from southern Illinois say that a pair of men posing as animal control officers have been stealing purebred canines.

According to KMOV, deputies say the men have taken three dogs in Perry County and two others in Randolph and Washington Counties.

"They've been taken out of fenced areas and so forth; they're basically patrolling during the day for them," Sheriff Steve Bareis told KMOV. "They seem to be coming back at night or making sure people are gone and taking them at that time."

Deputies told reporters that the men drive around the neighborhoods in a white pickup truck.

"I remember years ago this happened," Carmen Kohout, a dog owner, told KMOV. "I didn't have this guy. I had a Chow, and the same thing was going around. It really scared me, but he doesn't go out without me."

Perry County deputies say dogs left by themselves and are taken are more than likely to never be recovered. Authorities say purebred animals are an easy way to make quick cash.

"Yeah, you look at them anywhere from $800 to couple thousand dollars," Sheriff Bareis said.

Officials have reported that the men have been spooked by approaching owners, but that will not keep them from attempting to take the animals.

Deputies are continuing to search for the thieves.