SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — KRON4 is looking into a rash of stolen Yorkshire Terriers in the East Bay.

At least five viewers have reached out to KRON4 in the last few months to tell us they have been victimized.

All of these thefts have taken place in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties–for money.

A small Yorkie can actually go for between $500 and $1,000 on Craigslist. The Oakland Police Department told KRON4 on Thursday afternoon that they have seen a recent increase in the number of stolen dogs.

And KRON4 has done multiple stories about people who have lost their beloved pets.

Last June, Destiny Webster, who lives in Oakland, said that someone broke into her home and stole her Yorkie Terrier, Zoey.

“Zoey has been my spirit animal since I got her,” Webster said.

In August, one woman says her Yorkie, Saucie, disappeared from a pet groomer.

Then, just last week, Melissa Smith said that her Yorkie, Biscuit, was taken from her car.

“That was my child,” Smith said.

KRON4’s has also received emails from at least two other women who say their Yorkie Terriers were also taken.

“In the last several months, about a year, we really have seen a lot more reports of Yorkie Terriers being stolen,” East Bay SPCA President Allison Lindquist said.

She says small dogs like Yorkies are a popular target for thieves right now.

“They are easy to steal, grab, and conceal, and resell,” Lindquist said. “There’s a tremendous market for these animals, so people are stealing them and reselling them.”

Fortunately, Zoey and Biscuit were both found and returned to their owners.

Biscuit was found for sale at the Oakland flea market.

Unfortunately, many pet owners aren’t as lucky.

Lindquist recommends that all pet owners take some basic precautions to protect their dogs and help find them if they are taken.

“Pet owners should get their dogs microchipped,” Lindquist said. “That way, if they show up in a shelter, they can be scanned, and you can be reunited with your pet. Second, certainly, don’t leave dogs in cars or tie them up outside. People will grab them to make a quick buck.”

She also asks that anyone who might be looking to purchase a small dog to be careful.

“It’s up to us to be very wary of animals they see for sale on Craigslist or at flea markets,” Lindquist said. “They can be stolen or sick. People need to be really careful about that.”WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON: