Authorities say a man wanted for the theft of three Carlsbad search and rescue dogs has been found and arrested in Bexar County, Texas.
Jon Green, 64, was arrested by the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in San Antonio, Texas, after deputies received reports he was at a local hospital for an appointment, read a press release from Bexar County Sheriff’s spokesperson Johnny Garcia.
Green was arrested without incident by deputies, Garcia said.
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Carlsbad police allege Green stole a 2015 Ford Expedition belonging to his ex-wife Kim Lark on May 12. The vehicle was in front of a Carlsbad business on North Canal Street when it was stolen and contained three dogs that Lark is believed to have trained for search and rescue.
Carlsbad police issued an arrest warrant for Green on May 17. They allege, in addition to the car theft, that Green broke into her home and took a spare set of car keys.
Green was being held in the Bexar County Jail Wednesday morning on 15 Carlsbad warrants on charges that range from residential burglary and theft to unlawful seizure of a motor vehicle, online court records show.
A status hearing was scheduled for July 17 for Green before Eddy County Magistrate Judge Kelly Calicoat, according to court records.
Carlsbad Police Department spokesman Lt. Adrian Rivera could not offer a timeline for Green’s extradition from Texas to New Mexico.
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Rivera said Lark used the services of San Antonio-based private investigator Abel Pena to track down Green, the adult dogs and eight newborn puppies.
Rivera said the three dogs and puppies were found at a Bexar County home linked to an unnamed alleged accomplice. The Current-Argus was unable to confirm whether this person would be charged with a crime.
“I found an aunt of Green’s partner and started interviewing her. Based on her demeanor and body language, I thought she was being deceptive,” said Pena, a retired law enforcement officer.
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“I didn’t have to rush her very hard when she said, ‘I’ve got the dogs, come in.’ She was extremely cooperative and got us all the dogs back – Zero and her eight puppies, as well as Storm and Felony,” he said.
Pena then informed Lark via message and photo that the dogs were in his possession.
“I will forever be indebted to him and can’t thank him enough for finding my dogs,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have solved this problem.”
Pena said the arrest of Green and the discovery of the dogs was a team effort as Ray Davis, a private investigator from California, Carlsbad Police Department, FBI San Antonio, San Antonio Police Department and the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office worked to resolve the case.
Lark said a Carlsbad vet was scheduled to check on Zero and her puppies on Tuesday.
“I’m going to kind of fatten her up a bit so she can feed herself,” Lark said of future plans for the mom.
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“It’s a lot to feed eight puppies. Every two hours these puppies want to eat and they suck it pretty much every time,” she said.
She said national social media support was key to locating the dogs.
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Shares from dog lovers on Facebook were instantaneous after Lark posted photos of the vehicle and three missing dogs on social media shortly after they went missing.
“These people never gave up, they formed the (Facebook) group. They divided the United States (into) sections and they made sure that all the vets and all the rescues and homes had pictures of the dogs and knew what happened. They covered the whole of the United States,” she said.
The missing dogs allowed Lark to reconnect with former colleagues. She specializes in dog search and rescue with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS).