Authorities said a man wanted for theft of three search and rescue dogs in Carlsbad was 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 information he was at a local hospital for an appointment, read a news release from Bexar County Sheriff’s Spokesman Johnny Garcia.
Green was taken into custody without incident by deputies, Garcia said.
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Carlsbad Police allege Green stole a 2015 Ford Expedition belonging to his estranged 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 Lark said were trained for search and rescue.
Carlsbad Police issued a warrant for Green’s arrest 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 held at the Bexar County Jail as of Wednesday morning on 15 warrants from Carlsbad whose charges range from residential burglary and larceny to unlawful taking of a motor vehicle, per online court records.
A status hearing was scheduled for July 17 for Green before Eddy County Magistrate Judge Kelly Calicoat, court records indicated.
Carlsbad Police Department Spokesperson Lt. Adrian Rivera could not offer a timeline for Green’s extradition from Texas to New Mexico.
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Rivera said Lark utilized 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 home in Bexar County linked to an alleged, unnamed accomplice. The Current-Argus was not able to confirm whether that person would be charged with any crime.
“I located an aunt of the partner of Green’s and commenced to interview her. Based on her behavior and body language, I believed she was showing deception,” said Pena, a retired law enforcement officer.
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“I did not have to press her very hard, when she said, ‘I have the dogs, come on in.’ She was extremely cooperative and allowed us to retrieve all the dogs – Zero, and her eight puppies, and Storm and Felony,” he said.
Pena then notified Lark via a message and picture that the dogs were in his possession.
“I will be forever in his debt and I can never than him enough for finding my dogs,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have this solved.”
Pena said Green’s arrest and discovery of the dogs was a team effort as Ray Davis a private investigator from California, the Carlsbad Police Department, FBI San Antonio, San Antonio Police Department and Bexar County Sheriff’s Office worked to solve the case.
Lark said a Carlsbad veterinarian was scheduled to check on Zero and her puppies Tuesday.
“I’m going to kind of fatten her up a little bit so she can feed,” Lark said of future plans for the mother.
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“It’s a lot to feed eight puppies. Every two hours those puppies want to eat, and they suck her dry practically each time,” she said.
She said nationwide support from social media was a key element in locating the dogs.
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Shares by Facebook dog enthusiasts were instant after Lark posted pictures of the vehicle and three missing dogs on social media sometime after they disappeared.
“Those people never gave up they formed the (Facebook) group. They divided the United States (into) sections and they made sure all the veterinarians and all the rescues and homes had pictures of the dogs and knew what happened. They covered the whole United States,” she said.
The missing dogs allowed to Lark to reacquaint with former colleagues. She is trained dog search and rescue specialist with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at [email protected] or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.