RED RIBBON: Hollie Cosgrove holds the ribbon that was tied to her gate.
RED RIBBON: Hollie Cosgrove holds the ribbon that was tied to her gate. Hollie Cosgrove

Lock up your dogs, red ribbon thieves in Roma

THIEVES are using red ribbons to mark Roma homes they might later target to steal the dog on the premises or to break in.

Last week, members of the Cosgrove family were leaving for work on Friday morning when they found a ribbon on their fence.

Hollie Cosgrove said her mum found the ribbon last week on Friday morning before work about 5am.

"We were feeling a bit of shock," she said.

"As we never pictured our home to be picked for what that ribbon means.

"The ribbon was on the front gate of our yard, quite hidden and hard to notice."

It is claimed it is a common tactic for thieves to place the ribbon on thte fence of a home that they will later return to when no one is home to either break in or steal the dog.

The Cosgrove family unfortunately experienced it last night.

"We had someone at the front of our house last night with a torch looking into our yard," she said.

"It was hectic, I looked through my window and the thief was literally at the front with a torch.

"Stealing people's family animals is completely wrong, they're meant to feel safe in their own home.

"There's a fence there for a reason, to keep them safe."

Roma Police Sergeant Cian Jacobs said residents needed to stay vigilante.

"We have not received any reports, but just like with any other piece of property, make sure you lock it up," he said.

A Roma resident who would prefer not be named said she experienced dog theft only last year.

"I have previously had one on my fence, about a year and half ago," she said.

"People came four nights in a row to take my dogs but they were unsuccessful.

"A night or two later they came back and smashed up my car windows."

It is important to report the incident to the police as soon as possible; this can prevent valuable evidence from being lost or destroyed. It may also help them catch the offender and prevent another person from being harmed.

If it is an emergency or the crime is happening at the time, phone 000. If it not an emergency and the crime has already happened, phone Policelink on 131444, or report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.