Columbia, SC (WLTX) - For the third time in the past three weeks, someone has broken into an animal shelter and stolen pit bulls.
The most recent incident took place just before 9 p.m on Saturday.
Columbia police say a person was caught on surveillance cameras breaking into the City of Columbia Animal Shelter and taking five of the dogs from their cages.
A similar incident occurred back on January 30th, and then again on February 5th. In total, police say there have been sixteen pit bulls stolen, including a pregnant one.
According to the animal shelter, one dog was recovered Friday by a good samaritan and is reportedly in good condition.
Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott released this statement, "We continue to determine specifically why these dogs are being targeted. Since the first crime happened we have been coordinating security efforts with the animal shelter to hopefully capture the individual or individuals responsible. We don't want these dogs to be harmed in any way."
If you recognize the person in these pictures, or have any information that can help, call CrimeStoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. All calls remain anonymous.