The White County Sheriff's Office is warning residents to beware of a pedigree dog snatcher.
Though there isn't an exact count, investigators believe between three and 10 dogs of various breeds have been stolen in southern White County over the past few months, according to Chief Deputy Bob Ingram.
Investigators have collected evidence and information suggesting the American Kennel Club-registered dogs didn't run away but were taken from the proximity of the pet owners' houses when they weren't home.
Since the sheriff's office began publicizing the thefts, potential victims have come forward.
"We're trying to see if there's any connection or linkage between them," he said. "Then (we're) trying to piece together who may be responsible."
Local dog breeder Jennifer Daunch said a purebred dog can sell for as much as $1,500, but dog snatchers likely would have a hard time finding a buyer.
"Most people who pay a lot for a dog want to visit the breeder and see the facility. They want to see all the paperwork," she said. "(Stolen dogs) wouldn't have that."
Daunch also said most pedigree dogs are outfitted with microchips used for tracking purposes.
Amy Eury, from the microchip company HomeAgain, said these chips are planted under the skin but don't act like a GPS.
Instead, police, veterinary clinics and animal shelters usually have a scanner they can run over a dog's back. If the dog has a chip, the scanner picks up its unique code and the owner's contact information.
If an owner has reported a dog stolen, the scanner could help alert authorities, Eury said.
Ingram said they have not yet identified if any dogs taken have chips.
Law enforcement is encouraging anyone who feels they may have been a victim of dog theft in that area to contact the White County Sheriff's department at 706-865-5177.