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Meg Farris / Eyewitness News
Email: mfarris@wwltv.com | Twitter: @megfarriswwl

NEWORLEANS- A Mid-City community said a group of brazen criminals has been returning to the scenes of their crimes even after being caught.

Some have attempted to cut the cord to security cameras to protect their identity and others are now apparently targeting the family pet.

On a quiet street in Mid-City, not far from City Park and the Fair Grounds, everyone in the two-block area knows and looks out for neighbors. That's what helped foil some thieves on a recent Sunday afternoon.

'We all have cameras, so we have a camera of the guys' car, a camera of the guys' facial features.
We have the whole thing on tape. People don't realize, yeah it looks like a very, sleepy little community here but we all have tapes and we all know what's going on,' said Greg Bruce, who calls himself a self-appointed block captain.

He says it appears two men were casing the area for hours,pretending to be on the phone,looking for a house. And then while the pet owners were home, and their purebred two and a half-year-old dog and nine-month-old puppy sat on their back porch, they were taken.

'They actually took them out of their yard and were walking away with them and the only thing that saved them is, knowing that those people shouldn't have those dogs, (neighbors)yelled out, 'Hey, what are you doing with those dogs. They're not yours.' Consequently, they dropped the dogs and let them go,' Bruce recalled.

This reporterspoke with the owners by phone. One wastoo terrified to go on camera because of how brazen she said the criminals were. Not only didthe two menbreak in to the backyard and steal thetwo dogs, get caught by another neighbor and drop the dogs and run, but an hour and a half later when people were out on their porches, they came back withtwo more men, went up to the gate planning to do the whole thing over again. Another of the owners asked that we not identify the house or the breed of dogs he has.

NOPD isinvestigating.Policesay they have a license plate (RPC 523) and video of the men cutting the security cameraline, then stealing the camera so there are no finger prints. The car is registered in Marrero.

Veterinarians have seen this happen before when animals are purebred and valuable, ortaken then sacrificed to train fighting dogs to kill.

'Don't leave your animal unattended for long periods of time, especially in public, tied to things, even if it's forfive seconds while you go in the coffee shop,' said Dr. Charlotte Milazzo, a veterinarian at Chalmette Pet Wellness.

Asocial media post also went out to Mid-City residents about a man also trying to lure someone's cat out of her driveway. But the post stated thathe ran away when he was confronted. Police are unable to confirm that incident for Eyewitness News.

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