Australia's dingo population is no stranger to getting blamed for crimes. But this time there is irrefutable evidence that a dingo stole a British woman's bag containing thousands in cash and jewelry.
Australian network ABC reports that the 58-year-old woman was walking along a beach in New South Wales on Wednesday when the dingo made the grab.
Several witnesses tried unsuccessfully to warn the woman and another individual took photos of the dingo racing off into the nearby dunes.
The Australian dingo often makes its home in sandy areas near bodies of water. It's considered an apex predator, meaning it has no known rivals in the wild. However, interbreeding with other wild dogs has led to the dingo becoming a protected animal in Australia, with certain habitats designated for pure dingos.
There have been several reported dingo attacks against humans, but this appears to be an extremely rare case of an animal "robbing" a person of personal belongings.
Police were eventually able to track down the dingo, but have not yet found any of the stolen merchandise.
Port Stephens Crime Manager, Acting Inspector Matthew Maroney, tells ABC that the dingo, which was shot and killed, was suspected of being behind several other incidents this year. "It was established that this animal had been the subject of numerous complaints in the prior three months, jumping onto barbeques in the van park and approaching and stealing things from people," Maroney told ABC.
"The offending dingo was photographed by witnesses and was clearly identified as having one leg predominantly white," he added.