Drop the Shih-Tzu!


Here are two bits of advice if you’re planning to steal a little dog:

  1. Your getaway car should not be a Pontiac Aztek. It’s a hideously ugly — and highly recognizable — vehicle.
  2. You should try to hide the dog. It should not be visible through a front window of your house.

Had the pair who allegedly stole a 3-pound female Shih-Tzu last month from the Har Mar Pet Store taken that advice, they might have gotten away with their plan to sell the $1,195 Shih-Tzu on Craigslist.

Instead, they were arrested Monday. Here’s how the Roseville police described it:

The two suspects entered the pet store at 11:45 a.m. (Jan. 19) and asked a store employee if they could each hold a Shih-Tzu puppy. Following store policy, an employee asked each suspect for their respective photo identification cards to hold to prevent theft.

After looking at the Shih-Tzu puppies, the suspects returned the dogs to their kennel and their identification cards were returned. One of the suspects exited the business while the second stayed behind and asked the employee if he could hold one of the Shih-Tzu puppies one last time before he left.

The store employee allowed the suspect to hold the puppy before obtaining his identification card. Once the suspect had the puppy, he fled the store to a waiting red in color Pontiac Aztek SUV parked near the Famous Footwear mall entrance.

The Famous Footwear manager a few doors down from the pet store heard a commotion and observed a man carrying a dog running from the pet store towards the mall exit near her shoe store. The manager took notice of the license plate number of the Pontiac SUV the suspect entered before it sped from the mall parking lot.

The Famous Footwear manager and Har Mar Pet Store employees were interviewed by responding officers. Investigating officers were able to obtain detailed descriptions of both suspects.

Roseville detectives traveled to the Minneapolis address of the registered owner of the red Pontiac Aztek. When detectives knocked on the home’s front door, they could see the stolen Shih-Tzu running loose in the home’s living room through the door’s window.

Moments later, the red Pontiac Aztek stopped in front of the home occupied by two males who fit the physical description of the two dog thieves.

Both suspects were taken into police custody along with the stolen Shih-Tzu without incident. According to detectives, one of the suspects confessed and implicated his friend as his accomplice. When asked why, one of the suspects admitted the Shih-Tzu was going to be sold on Craigslist.

Police on Monday afternoon reunited the stolen Shih-Tzu “with a very emotional pet store owner who was pleased to have the dog safely returned.”