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Sacramento Animal Control Officers Turn Into Crime Fighters

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Animal control officers are used to dealing with hostile situations, but this time it wasn’t a canine that needed to be caught.

“This is the first time we’ve been involved physically, not involved with animals,” said Dan Torres, chief animal control officer with the city of Sacramento.

Torres said it wasn’t really their intention, but officers couldn’t help but step in when they saw a crime in progress Friday across the street from their Animal Care Services building at 2127 Front Street.

“My intent was to be a good witness,” Torres said.

But that all changed when officers saw a man put on gloves and dive under a Toyota SUV.

“There was no doubt in my mind what he was doing,” he said.

The man was stealing the vehicle’s catalytic converter. When they got the suspect’s attention, he ran but got cornered.

“Once he raised the tool, well, I was afraid for my life at that point,” Torres said.

Torres would be knocked to the ground. The suspect would take off on foot, but in the meantime his getaway driver would take off, but not before officers got the plate number and called it in.

Police caught up to both suspects and placed them under arrest.

“There is a rash of those thefts going on,” Torres said.

In fact, police believe the suspects could be responsible for many more. That’s why they aren’t releasing their identities.

But thanks to a few animal cops, these guys are off the streets.

“I have a great team,” Torres said. “I have a small team, but they’re mighty.”

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