LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4) – A canine caper has been caught on camera and now police are on the lookout for the woman who ran from a pet store with the pricey stolen puppy.
The puppy has been gone now for more than 24 hours. It was taken from Just Pets, a shop in Lone Tree south of Park Meadows Mall.
The purloined pup was a tiny baby pug at just 3 pounds and 9 weeks old. It needs shots and special care.
“I’ve been up all night worried about that dog,” Just Pets owner Lisa Stone said.
The canine crime was captured on surveillance cameras. A young woman came into the store shortly after 3 p.m. and asked to play with the pug.
“(She) really liked her, said she was in love with her; was going to think about her and come back,” Stone said.
The woman returned about two hours later.
“Look, she even looks nervous,” Stone said while viewing the surveillance tape.
Stone said the woman said she wanted to buy the $1,200 dog but needed a few more minutes. Meanwhile, another customer came in to look at kittens. When Stone went to the back of the store the pug-napper dashed out the front door.
“I didn’t see anybody anywhere; nobody running, no car, no nothing — gone,” Stone said.
According to the American Kennel Club, pet theft is a growing problem nationwide. Approximately 224 pets have been reported stolen in the first 7 months of this year compared with just 150 in the same period of time last year.
“I’ve actually had customers come in here or people looking for pets tell me they’ve had their dogs stolen right out of their backyard,” Stone said.
Stone believes the thief wanted a pet she couldn’t afford or plans to sell the dog. Stone is concerned the pug needs special care.
“Puppies, especially the smaller younger ones, need extra sleep, extra food, extra water.”
The theft has been reported to police.
The puppy has a microchip registered to the store so Stone is hoping it will be located and returned.