Pet shop

Puppy stolen from pet store, thief faces felony charge

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – A puppy was stolen from a local pet store in broad daylight Friday and the brazen crime was caught on surveillance camera. After nearly a week apart, the pup and pet store owner were reunited on Thursday.

The fluffy white Maltese was just 14 weeks old when he was stolen and weighed just 2 pounds, according to the pet store owner. On Friday, two women were seen looking at puppies at Aquatic Dog, then one of them grabbed the pup, put it in her jacket, zipped it up and took off.

FOX31 spoke to Shelia VanderVeer, owner of the pet store, and she said it happened quickly. She remembers talking to customers, then going to help a man at the counter. She said she noticed something, looked at the puppy’s enclosure, did a quick count and noticed one was missing.

“I ran after them and caught them just as they got into their car,” VanderVeer said. “I was yelling at them to stop. I was so worried about the dog. He is so small.

She was able to obtain the getaway car’s license plate and gave it to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies then showed up at the house, demanded the return of the puppy, and a woman handed it over; this encounter was also captured by a body camera.

Deputies took pictures with big smiles on their faces as they returned the puppy to the pet shop owner on Thursday.

“Oh, he was so happy to see me,” VanderVeer said. “We all commented on his little tail wagging back and forth. I know he remembered me. He was a happy camper.

A happy ending for the pup and VanderVeer this time, but she said it wasn’t the first time this had happened. She said it was the fifth time in the last two years and she thinks it has to do with dog prices soaring in the pandemic.

The thief in this case now faces a felony charge. The little Maltese, as the owner of the pet store calls him, was worth $2,400.