Los Alamitos trapping coyotes near homes

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. "We saw a coyote," said Coppola's 8-year-old grandson Cole Malm. "I thought it was a fox."

"My two grandsons were walking the neighbor's dog and they were coming up the cul de sac the way the coyote was going," Coppola said.

Coppola feared a coyote might attack as it headed in her grandchildren's direction around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"She said there's a coyote, get in the house, hurry get in the house," Cole said.

Once inside the house, Coppola called Los Alamitos police. Authorities have gotten several calls about coyotes lately.

"Since July of this year, we've had three attacks on small animals, two dogs and one cat," said Los Alamitos police Capt. Bruce McAlpine.

For the third time since 2007, the city has hired a company to set traps.

"We have caught one coyote," McAlpine said. "We caught him last week."

"I think it's absolutely great," said Los Alamitos resident Sharon Starr. "They've got to do something."

Starr always keeps her dog Lola on a leash and never alone outside for fear of coyotes in her neighborhood.

"It scares me," Starr said. "I wouldn't want her to get hurt. They're gutsy. They'll probably run up and grab her."

Several cities in Orange County have noticed an increase in coyote activity and sightings. In Los Alamitos, trappers are working for two weeks. Any scavengers they catch are killed.

"I'm not in favor of that but we need to keep them out of the neighborhoods," Coppola said.

"Our goal is simply to keep our community safe," McAlpine said.

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