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LAPD Warns Public About New, Sophisticated Dognapping Scheme

LOS ANGELES ( — The Los Angeles Police Department is warning the public about a new and sophisticated dognapping scheme.

The police are also asking for the public's help to try to nab the scam artists.

Police said that about 3 p.m. April 14, two women dressed in what looked like official green uniforms showed up at a man's Echo Park apartment in the 1000 block of Waterloo Street.

The women told the homeowner they were officers with the LAPD's Animal Cruelty Task Force and were there about "multiple complaints" about the man's dog being neglected. The women handed the man a flier and said they were there to confiscate the dog.

The victim said the flier appeared to be legitimate and contained accurate information about the LAPD's ACTF office.

Even though the man knew his dog was neither neglected or abused, he said he felt compelled to turn his pet over to the "officers."

KCAL9's Erica Nochlin spoke to the dog's owner, who was too upset to talk on camera. He's just hoping someone can help him get back his dog.

After the women left with the dog, the victim contacted the number on the flier and was advised the ACTF had not been involved.

The first suspect is described as a Latina, about 5 feet tall, 140 pounds and about 35 years of age. The second suspect is described as white, also 5 feet and 140 pounds and 35 years of age.

Nochlin spoke to other residents who were shocked and upset about the new scam.

"I think that's awful. I don't know what I would do if somebody took my dog, so hopefully they can find who did it," said Kim Johnson.

"I love this dog to death, so I probably couldn't be separated even with physical force, but that's certainly a challenge, especially when someone looks like an authority figure," neighbor Scott Stephen said.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call LAPD at (213) 484-3400.

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