Thief grabs $3,200 puppy from pet store

Posted at 6:07 PM, Dec 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-15 21:16:06-05

SANTEE, Calif. (KGTV) - Video captured a woman stealing a 9-week-old puppy out of a pet store in Santee.

Just past noon inside Pups and Pets, the Cavailer King Charles Spaniel puppy was in a play area in the middle of the store getting exercise with another puppy, when a woman is seen walking into the store, heading right to the pen and bending over.  In the video, she picks up the $3,200 puppy and casually walks out of the store.

"My staff called me said someone may have stolen a puppy," said owner Al Franco.

Franco says a search of the store followed, before a look at the video revealed the thief.

In a strange twist, almost 40 minutes later, the same woman walked in, gave the puppy back to a worker and walked back out, followed closely by Franco.

"She wouldn't respond, and followed her halfway into the parking lot, and asked her why she stole the puppy.  She said she didn't and the puppy was wandering around the parking lot. I told her we had her on video stealing it. She ran away and then drove off, but I got her license plate," said Franco.

Franco did call deputies, but soon after, he says the woman and her mother, called back and then showed up apologizing, claiming the woman has a mental condition.

It's unclear if Franco will press charges. Franco says puppy thefts typically pick up right before the holidays.

"The last time this happened, the guy wanted to give it as a present to this girlfriend to impress her," said Franco.