Hog Trappers Frustrated With Thieves at Dallas Cemetery

Round-up resumed with police support

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Hog trappers were back in business Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery after thieves nearly drove the trappers away.

The group called ‘Hogs for A Cause Texas’ began an effort to eradicate nuisance wild hogs on April 27 after relatives complained about extensive damage to graves.

The trappers confirmed hogs were to blame and the group set up traps to catch the beasts. The non-profit group donates the meat to veterans.

The group’s surveillance cameras captured images of hogs in the traps but also recorded pictures of thieves. Group leader Chris Matthews says the crooks stole the cameras and the traps twice.

“There comes a time when you have to look at all the pros and cons and say ultimately, am I losing too much?  I'm trying to help out. And this is one of those cases,” Matthews said.

He said he contacted Dallas Police, but was told to file an online report.

Tuesday, NBC 5 contacted police about the situation and also the neighborhood City Councilman Tennell Atkins.

“The point is, it's at a cemetery and if your loved one is at the cemetery, it’s very important,” Atkins said.

The councilman said he supports the police policy to divert calls for non-violent theft to online reports to save officers for violent crime.

But there are exceptions and Atkins said this is one of them.

“We'll do everything in our power to make sure the traps they put out there are secure,” Atkins said.

Dallas police investigators did respond to the cemetery Tuesday, while Matthews also had a meeting scheduled with the cemetery management.

Matthews said the investigators accepted the images of possible suspects and told him they would pursue the case.

And the cemetery agreed to reimburse Matthews for the theft.

“I firmly believe it was in large part due to Channel 5,” Matthews said. “You all were able to get everybody’s attention and it really worked out for the better today.”

Traps were set again Tuesday night to catch more of the nuisance hogs.

“We do want to succeed and provide that peace of mind to the community, to everyone that has buried their loved ones there,” Matthews said.

Nearly 20 hogs have been captured so far at the Lincoln Memorial Cemetery but Matthews said more will be caught before the problem is solved.

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