MIDDLETOWN, NJ (WABC) — New Jersey pet store owners are offering a $2,000 reward for returning a stolen puppy.
It happened around 1:15 p.m. Thursday at The Pet Shoppe located on State Route 35 in Middletown.
Surveillance video appears to show the suspect playing with the 9-week-old cockapoo before picking up the pup and running off.
“I was just at the counter with him,” owner Dana DiEugenio said. “We’ve been in business for 15 years. This had never happened before, and I didn’t expect him to run away with a puppy. So when he ran away, I was shocked And my first instinct is to run after him. I ran after him outside. He had a getaway car waiting for him in a different parking lot, and he got in the back of the vehicle and drove off. .
The dog, weighing around 2 pounds, sells for $4,300.
DiEugenio said a young black man walked into the store and asked if he had any cockapoo or goldendoodle puppies for sale.
After the dognapping, the suspect ran to an adjacent parking lot and got into a small black SUV, possibly a Nissan Rouge, with the partial New Jersey license plate “X58”.
He wore a sweatshirt with the words “Key Street” on the sleeves in white lettering.
“Please, please give the puppy back to us so we can take care of it,” DiEugenio said. “I don’t care about anything else except the safe return of the pup. If someone has it and you’re not going to return it, just make sure you feed it enough… Our concern is the puppy. We just want the puppy to be okay.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Middletown Police Detective Office at (732) 615-2120.
Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call the Tipline at (732) 615-3277.
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