HOUSTON - Police are looking for the person who is stealing horses in northeast Houston.
In one case a horse was taken in the middle of the day and surveillance cameras captured the suspect riding bareback along a main road.
Clyde Brown told Local 2 his horse Champ was stolen on August 3. It happened just before 1 p.m. while Brown was inside his home.
"I didn't hear anything. I looked out there and saw Champ missing but I never thought anybody would steal him," said Brown.
When Brown got closer to the stables to investigate, he saw someone had cut his fence.
Just minutes later, surveillance cameras captured a young man riding Champ bareback, right past a nearby tire shop. Thankfully, Houston police recovered Champ four days later. He had been left tied to a fence along with three other horses. Brown said Champ was in bad shape and it appeared he'd been raced.
"To my wife, that's her baby. We've had him for many years. We got him back, but he couldn't even stand up," said Brown.
Champ wasn't the only horse to go missing. A few blocks away, Paula Martinez's 5-year-old horse disappeared overnight on Saturday. When the family woke up, a chain was unfastened and the horse's stall had been left open. Martinez told Local 2 just one week before someone took reins and other items from the stables.
"At first we thought it was just little kids that jumped the fence and stole stuff but we never thought they'd ever steal a horse," said Martinez.
Martinez's horse was recovered Monday.
According to police, both cases are still under investigation. They are also working to determine who owns the other three horses that were found at the same time as Champ.
Brown said Champ's condition has improved since he made it back home but he's still sore and appears thin.
The Houston Police Department's livestock unit is currently working to develop a database that would help reunite recovered horses with their owners who reported them stolen.
A seizure hearing is scheduled for Monday for the three horses that were discovered last week. If you think they may belong to you or someone you know, you are asked to call the Major Offenders Unit at 713-308-3100.
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