Baytown family pleading for safe return of dog taken by possible serial snatcher

Saturday, January 20, 2018
Serial dog thefts
PREVIOUS VIDEO: Baytown authorities were dealing with a string of dog thefts - five canines taken in two months.

BAYTOWN, Texas (KTRK) -- Authorities say five dogs have been stolen in the Baytown area since November. Three of the animals were stolen from their yards, while two others were stolen from vehicles.

One night, nearly two weeks ago, the Malstrom family visited their neighbor just behind them. They were there for less than an hour.

When they returned, their 2-year-old German Shepherd named Sheba was nowhere to be found. She would sometimes want to go outside, where she would crawl under a front deck.

The family later discovered she had been stolen. It was recorded by their surveillance camera.

"You see a truck slowly creeping by and stop. She's such a loving animal. She went right to him, thinking she was going to go for a ride. And she hasn't been back," said Stephanie Malstrom, Sheba's owner.

The canine's empty crate in the family room is a painful reminder of what is missing.

"We've put up flyers, and we've searched for days," according to Malstron.

The family lives on an acre near Baytown in Chambers County.

"This is the country, and we felt safe. Now we feel violated that someone would come on our property and take a part of our family," said Malstrom

Chambers County Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for Sheba's safe return. The family contributed to the fund, as well as local animal advocates.

"We won't ask any questions or pursue anything. Just take her to a humane shelter, where she can be scanned for her microchip, or drop her off in the neighborhood and she'll find her way home," said Malstrom.

The family has left her toys and blankets on the porch to lure her back.

"My girls even asked to make barbecue so she might smell it and come back," Malstrom said.

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