Named Scruggs, the plush ball of serotonin was returned to his rightful owners after he was stolen from a Subaru parked at the 200 block of Sutter Street in downtown San Francisco earlier this week, according to police.
Pet theft has been on the rise as of late. Designer dogs, especially popular small breeds — like French bulldogs and Pomeranians, for example — are being snatched from vehicles or outright yanked away from people walking them about town. (Lady Gaga's two Frenchies, Koji and Gustav, were stolen this weekend but have since been returned by a good-doer who saw the puppies tied to a pole miles from where they were dognapped.) Thankfully, in the case of a recent Bay Area dognapping, there was a happy ending after one young Maltese puppy was reunited with his bipedal family.
Our #sfpd Investigations & patrol worked together to locate & arrest the Suspect in this case. On 2/22 S broke into victim's car near Union Square & took "Scruggs". Scruggs is a 4-month old Maltese, 12 lbs, wearing a pink sweater & blk/blu harness. Still missing! pic.twitter.com/X0fE4J8Z3o— R. Vaswani (@sfvas) February 26, 2021
According to the Chronicle, Scruggs was reunited with his humans five days after a 23-year-old Los Gatos resident had parked his Subaru on the 200 block of Sutter Street in San Francisco, leaving the puppy inside; when he returned some 30 minutes later, Scruggs was no where to be found.
But on Saturday, police said a Richmond resident who purchased the pooch in the Tenderloin and later posted photos of their “new dog” on social media — before learning about the dog prior to being stolen. The new owners were more than happy to return Scruggs to his first family, an exchange that was helped and organized by SF police.
“The San Francisco Police Department would like to thank the public and news media for their interest and assistance in this case,” police said in a statement, per the newspaper. “Public attention to Scruggs’ theft ultimately led to his safe return home.”
Investigators used surveillance video taken near the abduction to identify the robber suspect as Viengphet Sasone; the 43-year-old was arrested on Thursday and had refused to reveal Scruggs' location to investigators.
The stealing of Scruggs represents another example in a series of local dognapping cases that hace transpired in the past year or so. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniels was abducted in an auto burglary around this time last year, though it was eventually reunited with its owners (after they paid a $1K ransom). A 30-year-old San Francisco woman was assaulted at gunpoint last month and had her five-month-old puppy taken from her.
So remember: Don't leave your pups in the car, unattended. And keep those leashes taught.
Image: Courtesy of Twitter vis @sfpd