THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Thornton are looking for two thieves who stole puppies after hiding them inside their clothing.
Police said both men just walked out the door of the Pet Ranch located at 3823 E. 120th Ave. in Thornton with the puppies hidden.
“They cased us. They had known exactly what they wanted,” said Pet Ranch owner Renee Reese.
The first puppy nabbing happened March 10 about 4:30 p.m. The man had taken a Maltese/Silky Terrier puppy valued at $1,099.
“It’s a tea cup, a small dog. We’re real concerned about it’s health and safety,” said Reese.
Witnesses said they saw the man pick up the puppy and conceal it in his jacket and walk out of the business. He is described as a white man in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-6 with five stars tattooed on the right side of his neck and an unknown name tattooed on the left side of his neck.
He also had a profanity tattooed on the knuckles of both hands. He was wearing black jeans and a dark blue “security type” jacket with the American flag on the left shoulder.
Just four days later about 7:10 p.m. another puppy was stolen this time a Chihuahua valued at $799. A man used his family as a distraction.
“Grabbed the puppy, ran to the back of the store, put it in his pants, signaled his wife it was time to go, came up to the front and held both is toddlers’ hands as he walked out the door with it in his pants,” Reese.
Witnesses told police a family of four, an adult male and female with two little girls looked at a black and tan Chihuahua puppy. The man concealed the puppy in his pants under his shirt and then walked out of the store. The woman and two girls followed.
The man is described as white in his late 30s to early 40s, 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-8, 160 to 180 pounds with short spiked dirty blonde hair. He has multiple tattoos on his arms and was wearing a brown shirt and dark jeans.
The woman is described as Hispanic in her late 30s to early 40s, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-9, 125-130 pounds with dark shoulder length hair. She was last seen wearing a grey shirt.
The two small children were girls about three and five years old.
The puppies need special care because they are so young and so small.
“They left with not the food they know, none of the stuff they know and we’re really worried that if they go hyperglycemic, if that isn’t attended to they could die,” said Reese.
Police do not believe the two cases are connected.
Two other dogs were taken from the Pet Ranch last year.
“We had gone over a year without a theft and then twice, we’re hit twice within four days,” said Reese. “This is not the norm.”
“Even though financially it’s draining it’s not heartbreaking like when they steal a living puppy.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro Area Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867, or call the Thornton Police Department.