UPDATE: The woman suspected of stealing the dog has been arrested on multiple outstanding warrants and was issued a municipal summons for theft of the dog. Read the full report here.
LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) – The dog who was stolen from a man who suffered a seizure at a 7-Eleven in Longmont Tuesday night, has been found. Sampson was found by Longmont Deputy Police Chief Jeff Satur.
Satur spotted the dog walking with some people along Main Street in Longmont on Wednesday afternoon.
“He stood out,” Satur told CBS4. “I was like, ‘Oh, there he is!’ I recognized him right away.”
“We understand this was an emotional reunion. But, kisses all around to the large group of family that came to pick Sampson (Sammy) up. He was thrilled to see them,” police said on Facebook.
“It feels like we have a piece of my uncle having Sampson back,” Kelly Pleffner, Corbey’s niece, told CBS4.
“We were just so worried,” Pleffner said. “We are so grateful to have him back.”
Police say Robert Corbey, 59, had been feeling ill all day on Tuesday but decided to walk with his dog to the store at 1650 North Main Street. That’s when he fell, suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, Corbey did not survive.
Pleffner said her uncle suffered with mental health and depression, so Sampson was his certified therapy dog.
“He was his light,” Pleffner said of Sampson.
Surveillance video indicates that a woman removed the dog from the store while police and fire personnel were trying to save Corbey.
Satur said Sampson was found walking with a couple.
“They knew the dog was missing,” Satur said of the couple. “They were like, ‘Here, take the dog.'”
Satur explained the couple told officers the dog was given to them by another woman, presumably the woman seen on the 7-Eleven security camera footage.
“The guy said, ‘I gave [Sampson] some crackers and a bath,'” Satur said, adding the dog seems in good condition.
“I feel for the family; I have dogs myself,” Satur said. “I just wanted to help out where I could.”
Satur said tips from the public along with media sharing the photos of Sampson and the woman who took him helped reunite the dog with its family.
“We appreciate everyone’s help because tips are what help us do our job,” he said. “In this case it helped us get this little dog back.”
Police continue to search for the woman accused of stealing Sampson.
If you have information that would lead to the identity of the woman in the photos you are asked to contact the Longmont Police Department at (303)651-8555.