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Puppy stolen from OC pet store, suspects caught on tape

January 27, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A search is under way for two people who stole a 2-month-old puppy worth about $600 from a Pet City store in Stanton last Tuesday afternoon. The crime was caught on tape.

Surveillance video captured a man walking to the back of the store as his female accomplice headed in the same direction toward dog cages against the wall.

Authorities said the man kept an employee busy while his accomplice made off with the dog.

"They were playing with all the locks of the kennels to see if any were left open," said the Orange County Sheriff Department's Jim Amormino. "Finally they did pick out a dog that they wanted to steal."

Authorities said the man appeared to break the lock and briefly played with a chow puppy. The man then asked a store worker to unlock a different cage, pretending to be interested in another dog. He then followed the employee to a nearby play room.

"It's a room where customers can play with the dogs to see if they like them," Amormino said. "Again, this is only a distraction."

While the worker's back is turned, the woman opened the cage housing the chow puppy, quickly removed and placed it under her arm. She walked out of the store with the male suspect following soon after.

"Sometimes people re-sell the dog or give it away as a present. So anyone that recently has a new chow, it may be stolen," Amormino said.

Investigators describe the male suspect as 6 feet tall, between 220 and 240 pounds. He and the female suspect appear to be in their mid-30s. The female suspect is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall weighing about 150 pounds.

Amormino said the two face burglary and grand theft charges, which are serious felonies.

Anyone who recognizes the suspects are asked to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227.