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    Caught on camera: Woman struggles with suspect allegedly trying to steal her dog

    Residents on the lookout for the suspect are stressing the importance of being aware of your surroundings

    WINDCREST – A Windcrest community is hoping a man caught on camera allegedly trying to steal a resident’s dog is brought to justice soon.

    The victim, a 68-year-old woman, was there when the attempted theft happened Monday afternoon at her home near Parkcrest and Moorside.

    “She’s an avid gardener,” said Rainbeau Presti, the victim’s close friend and neighbor. “She was outside tending to her plants that didn’t make it because of the winter storm. She had her dog, Buddy, by her side tied to a tree.”

    In the video, you can see a man get out of an SUV and run over to Buddy, 10, to try to get him to come to him.

    “She hears somebody approaching and speaking to the dog saying, ‘Come here girl! Come here girl!’ So, she turns around and sees this man trying to steal her dog,” Presti said.

    In the video, the victim fights back, screaming for the man to leave as she continued to pull back her dog’s leash.

    “It was frightening to hear that and to see my friend going through that,” Presti said. “It’s upsetting to see and unimaginable to think it can happen to you in your own front yard.”

    Presti, who watches Buddy often for her friend, says he is a very friendly dog.

    “He is the sweetest boy you could ever meet,” Presti said. “He is not the type of dog that would show aggression to anyone. She walks with him, so he probably thought it was one of her friends in the neighborhood, so he offered a friendly greeting.”

    Eventually, after a struggle, the man runs back to the SUV and drives off quickly.

    The victim was able to provide a license plate number and the video of the incident to Windcrest police.

    Presti said this not the only complaint of a person trying to steal from pet owners.

    She said as police actively investigates this attempted theft, she is encouraging residents to stay vigilant of their surroundings.

    “We are a tight-knit quiet, safe community and if you come here to commit crimes, our police will take care of us,” Presti said. “That is not something you do anywhere in any community. It is wrong. People’s pets are like family members, so you don’t just walk up and try to snatch their family from them. That is just wrong.”

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