Clermont woman's dog stolen by person claiming to be dog walker

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CLERMONT, Fla. - A Clermont woman is searching for her missing dog it was stolen by someone claiming to be the neighborhood dog walker, according to police.

Police are now warning residents about the new scam, which they dubbed “grooming.”

They said the suspect gets to know the victim and eventually earns his or her trust before stealing the victim’s dog.

Mayra Martinez filed a police report last week after someone snatched her 3-year-old yorkiepoo.

She said she first met the suspect knocked on her door at the beginning of the month and claimed to be the neighborhood dog walker. The two chatted and got to know each other for several weeks.

“She said she was walking dogs to raise money for her church youth group,” Martinez said.

Martinez works three jobs and decided to take up the suspect on her offer.

She left her key for the dog walker, but when she got home her dog, laptop and two tablets were missing.

“I started calling her, I started to panic. After an hour and a half I called the cops,” she said.

The Clermont apartment complex where Martinez lives sent a letter to all the residents warning them of a woman knocking on doors and asking is she could walk or babysit pets.

Martinez doesn’t want anyone else to fall for it.

“I really wanted to get to know this woman. She said she has other dogs. She just really made it seem like she worked within the neighborhood,” she said.

Martinez posted numerous fliers around the neighborhood.

“I just want her back. I just don’t understand. I’m without words,” she said.

Officers said the suspect possibly stole the dog to either sell or breed.