K-9nappers offered amnesty
by Gary Kent
Aug 14, 2014 | 3048 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – Police Chief Joe Treviño said this week that he is convinced someone has his department’s missing police dog, Irk.

“We haven’t found a dog hit by a car, and we haven’t found the dog,” Treviño said.

He added that he is willing to look the other way if the person who has the dog returns it or someone else returns the animal promptly. But Treviño refused to set a deadline.

If the person who has the dog wants to avoid a felony charge, the animal must be returned to the police department promptly.

If the dog is not returned, then when he is found, whoever has the animal had better contact a defense attorney because that person will be facing a felony theft charge.

Treviño said Texas law dictates that anyone who deprives an owner of anything worth between $1,500 and $20,000 can be charged with a state jail felony.

That will lead to an arrest, and the defendant will be required to post bond to get out of jail.

Then, if the defendant is convicted, he or she will face a possible sentence of up to two years in a state jail facility and a possible $10,000 fine. And that person will have a felony conviction on his or her record from then on.

Treviño said this week that the person who has the dog will be caught. Coastal Bend Crime Stoppers has agreed to offer a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides enough information to result in an arrest of a suspect.

No one can hide a dog like that for long, Treviño said. The only way to avoid facing a felony charge will be to return the animal, now.

Members of the Beeville Police Department and Beeville Volunteer Fire Department have been searching since Saturday evening for the BPD canine.

Treviño said the dog, known as Irk by his fellow officers, is a three-year-old, black and tan German shepherd.

The dog weighs about 67 pounds. He is a large and friendly dog, but he is highly trained for police work, and the BPD wants him back.

Treviño said Irk lives with his handler, Sgt. Jason Alvarez, but he apparently broke out of the fence in Alvarez’s yard in northeast Beeville sometime Saturday. He was discovered missing at about 6 p.m.

The chief said BPD officers and BVFD firefighters have gone from house to house in much of the northeast quadrant of the city looking for the missing dog, but they have found nothing.

On Monday, officers were dispatched to that part of town after a resident reported seeing a large German shepherd in that neighborhood.

The dog was located, but it was not Irk.

Treviño is asking anyone who might have seen Irk or a dog matching that description to call the BPD at 358-8100 or call (361) 318-6040.

If someone knows who has the animal and would like to qualify for the Crime Stoppers reward, he or she should call the organization’s hotline at 362-0206. Long-distance callers should press the 877 area code before punching in the number to the hotline.

At one point over the weekend, as officers and firefighters conducted their search, special scent-tracking dogs from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice were brought in to help in the search.

“At this time, we don’t suspect any foul play,” Treviño said on Monday. But if someone has the dog penned up, that would be considered foul play, and the consequences will be dire for anyone who has him.

Irk was last seen near the St. Rose Cemetery off East Kennedy Street. He was wearing a leather collar with a brass nameplate and a choke chain.

Treviño assured anyone who might know who has the dog that no one who contacts Crime Stoppers has to reveal his or her identity.

Internet users may email Crime Stoppers at coastalbendcrime stoppers.com.

Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5220, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.
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