NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A woman paid to walk dogs while people are away has been caught on camera stealing hundreds of dollars-worth of items from a Long Island City home.
That suspect is a dog walker sent to the home through an app Wag.
The victim posted the video – that’s since gone viral – and spoke with CBS2’s Charlie Cooper.
“The bag, the jewelry, the makeup, that was probably anywhere between $700 and $800 in total,” Shayna Bryan said.
Dear @WagWalking, this is your @WagWalking employee stealing from my home. Please kindly respond to my email dated November 17, 2019. #thief #dogwalking #dogs #news #nycnews @NBCNewYork @CBSNewYork @NYCNews_ @NYCNewsBlog @NYCNews_ @localnewsnyc. pic.twitter.com/aGjgP1s3Zq
— Shayna Bryan (@Shayna_ABryan) November 21, 2019
This Wag walker, captured on Bryan’s home surveillance, was even seen trying to swipe a winter coat worth thousands.
All that in full view of the dogs she was supposed to be walking. It was also watched by their owner, who saw the crime remotely.
“I immediately sounded the alarm because I was watching it live on my video camera.”
As Bryan walked CBS2 through her home and retraced the thief’s steps, she says she notified police and tried three times to contact Wag.
“It took five days and basically a Facebook post going viral before they would respond which was really disappointing and frustrating because I thought they would make something like this a top priority.”
CBS2 spoke to Wag representatives who said they have a vetting process for their walkers that includes a criminal background check, social security number trace, and a facial recognition check.
“It’s not going to show on your background check if you’ve never done it before,” Bryan argued.
Wag’s Trust and Safety team tells CBS2 they’re working directly with police on the investigation, refunded Shayna for the walk, and have deactivated the walker’s account.
As for the stolen goods, “they said I need to provide receipts for anything that was stolen. So if I don’t have receipts I may not get reimbursed which is a little frustrating.”
Shayna is warning other dog owners in her neighborhood to be cautious of apps like Wag.
“I would say find a trustworthy person and find someone that you actually know and can get their full information because I don’t even know this woman’s full information,” Bryan explained.
“The people that I know and trust in the neighborhood would be the only person I would allow to come into my house and take my dog out,” dog owner Denise Martino said.
Other neighbors aren’t deterred by the incident though.
“I think it’s convenient. It’s like all the shared economy apps and services so when you need it they’re there so you can rely on them,” Andreas Stojanow said.
Unless, of course, you can’t – like in Shayna Bryan case.