A former Las Vegas show girl who has been operating an attack-dog training school with the slogan "We put the bite on crime" has been charged with larceny after trust because she allegedly failed to return a doberman pinscher to its owner, D.C. police reported.
Karen Gray, 35, of 7999 Oak St., Fairfax, was arrested Sunday after the consumer fraud unit of the D.C. Police Department received a complaint from a Washington man that Gray had taken his dog for training and then disappeared.
When police first went to Gray's home on Friday, she was not there but about 15 or 20 dogs were inside the house, police said. When they returned Sunday to arrest her, only three or four of the dogs were there, police said.
Yesterday, at least four dogs, including three German shepherds were still at the Oak Street home, a large structure built of logs. Several leashes hung on the wall of an enclosed back porch.
The complainant against Gray, Barney Evans, 28, a salesman for a publishing company. He said he had contacted Gray last August after reading a newspaper advertisement referring specifically to the training of German shepherds and doberman pinschers. Gray persuaded Evans to let her take his 2-year-old doberman, "Deke" on a "trial basis," Evans said.
Then she said she was interested in buying the dog. When I told her I didn't want to sell it, she just disappeared. Her number was disconnected and her answering service hadn't heard from her," Evans said yesterday.
Last month, Evans contacted the District of Columbia police consumer fraud unit, which said it has had six complaints about Gray over the past three years.
'But most of the people complaining did not have a criminal case; it would have been a civil dispute," Det. Earl Gould said yesterday. The police were not able to determine a clear cut "scheme of fraud" until Evans' complaint, Gould said.
Another problem, Gould said, was that many of the complaints referred to the fraud unit were out of the D.C. police department's jurisdiction.
Police said Gray had first run her dog-training school - called on her business card - the "Canine Mod Squad - out of her residence at 9412 Overlea Dr., Rockville. She then moved to Fairfax and was arrested Sunday at her rented home.
Although it is necessary to obtain a permit from the county zoning board to operate a kennel, there are no county ordinances setting up standards for attack-dog trainers, Richard R. Amity, director of the county's department of animal control, said yesterday.
Asked why he had taken so long to come to the police, Evans said, "I went through about 10 various police agencies and always was referred to another. It was hard to find the proper specialized unit that could do something about this."
Meanwhile, police say they have information that "Deke" has been sold by Gray and they may be able to trace the dog. The charge of larceny after trust is a felony, police said, and carries a penalty of up to 10 years and or a $1,000 fine.