3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

By Melissa Garcia

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – The owner of three dogs stolen from a truck left running is offering a reward to anyone who can help police catch the crook.

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(credit: Paul Villella)

Surveillance video caught the alleged suspect stealing the truck from outside of Vic’s Liquor store around 5 p.m. Sunday. The store is located near 35th Avenue and Quebec Street in Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood.

stolen dogs 6pkg 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

(credit: CBS)

Thanks to the help of some watchful citizens, the stolen dogs were found a day later. The victim’s truck and the suspect, however, are still missing.

Paul Villella, owner of Vic’s Liquor, said that he went inside the store just long enough to unload a few boxes of product. By the time he came back outside, his truck and his dogs were gone.

stolen dogs 6345435pkg 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

(credit: CBS)

Store surveillance cameras captured video of a man walking into the store and buying a beer. When the man left, he got out of a U-Haul pickup truck and jumped into the owner’s running truck, taking off with the three dogs inside.

stolen dogs 6preytertykg 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

(credit: CBS)

Villella was up all night searching for them.

“It was a feeling of despair,” Villella said.

Around 7 a.m., a jogger found Villella’s dog Victor over five miles away roaming Cheesman Park.

stolen dogs 6pkg678 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

(credit: CBS)

“When they found Vic, I thought, ‘There’s some hope,’” Villella said. “At least (the thief) let him go.”

His hope turned into relief when someone sent him a photo of his other two dogs and said that the missing Jack Russel terrier mix and Maltese had shown up safe on a porch in the same neighborhood.

stolen dogs 6pk234234g 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

Image of the suspect (credit: CBS)

“I feel really bad because of a stupid mistake I made; that I gave someone the opportunity to steal my truck,” Villella said. “And I don’t even care about the truck. But the idea that I potentially hurt my animals because of it, that’s something I’m so relieved (that they were found).”

Villella is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest.

stolen dogs 6pk32453245g 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

Image of the suspect (credit: CBS)

Police said that investigators are following up on those leads.

A veterinarian checked the dogs out and although they were a little shaken up, they appeared to be doing just fine.

stolen dogs 6map 3 Missing Dogs In Stolen Truck Found Safe, Owner Offers Reward For Arrest

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Judy Taylor says:

    I am so glad the dogs are back home. What an experience for them. Glad they are safe and sound!

    Hope the bad guy gets caught

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