By Tom Mustin
LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – A puppy stolen from a pet store in Centennial has been found. Lakewood police recovered the stolen Papillon puppy when officers were called to investigate a shoplifting incident.
Officers were called to a Kohl’s department store on Tuesday on reports of a shoplifting. When officers arrived, they found one of the two suspects had a dog that a store employee recognized as being similar to the puppy stolen from Perfect Pets on Jan. 3.
“I just feel totally elated,” said shop owner Jens Larsen.
Larsen is overjoyed to have his stolen puppy back.
“It’s ironic. When I put the puppy back in with his buddies, he just hopped around and played with them,’ he told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
Surveillance video from showed a woman steal the 10-week-old Papillon from its cage at the Perfect Pets store in Centennial.
“To walk in a steal a puppy that is just a precious little animal is absolutely despicable,” said Larsen.
Lakewood police arrested Sondra Sikich, 26, after she and a man were allegedly shoplifting at the Kohl’s store on Wadsworth Boulevard.
Police say Sikich has several outstanding warrants and had been driving in a stolen truck. She walked into the store carrying the puppy. An alert security guard recognized the dog.
“He told our officers, ‘I think this is the Papillon puppy I saw on the news the other night being stolen,'” said Steve Davis with the Lakewood Police Department.
Animal control officers scanned the dog’s microchip, which confirmed the dog’s identity.
Larsen picked up the pup Tuesday night, after two weeks of sleepless nights.
“I take it very personal when someone walks in my store and steals a puppy from us,” he said.
Larsen says the three-pound female is in good health and is happy to be back with her friends. He’s grateful to the news media and law enforcement for helping find her.
He also has no sympathy for the alleged dognapper.
“I hope this person will be locked up.
Larsen says the Papillon is worth about $1,300. Sakich is facing charges related to shoplifting and the stolen vehicle. The alleged male accomplice has been released on a summons, He is not the same person at the scene in the stolen puppy surveillance video.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says it still has work to do before arrests can be made in the puppy theft.