PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - A couple pulled off an elaborate scheme at a Parkland pet store in order to steal a beagle puppy and supplies worth over $1,500.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, on Jan. 11, a man and a woman holding an infant, posing as a family, entered Puppy Plus, a boutique pet shop, located at 7071 N. State Road 7 in Parkland.
At 4 p.m., a woman was captured by security cameras at the puppy shop carrying a small child on her hip alongside a man. Cameras rolled as as she and the man casually walked around the store.
The couple browsed for approximately 30 minutes, passing the baby back and forth between them, before pulling out a fraudulent credit card to make their purchase.
The couple left the store with a beagle puppy and puppy supplies worth over $1,500. “Everybody loves beagles,” Schumacher said.
“It’s very disappointing because nothing like this has ever happened before,” said employee Tara Schumacher.
Initially, the credit card didn’t work, which Schumacher said isn’t out of the norm. “It is very common because we do have a lot of large purchases that occur here, so it is very common for that for cards to get declined, and often times, people do have to call their bank and let them know this is a large purchase that’s happening,” she said.
However, Schumacher said, the woman called the bank and punched in the code herself, allowing the transaction to go through. It wasn’t until later that the bank called the store and said the purchase was fraudulent.
Now, store owner Joseph Dagher is worried about the puppy that was stolen. “We take care of our puppies, we have excellent reputation, we deal only with good breeders. For that reason, we want good puppies, healthy puppies and we want to give them good homes,” he said.
The woman is described as a Hispanic female in her early 30s with dark hair pulled back. She was dressed all in black.
The man is described as a Hispanic male with dark curly hair, a beard and a stocky build. He was last seen wearing a red or orange-colored T-shirt and dark shorts.
Detectives believe the thieves may have subsequently sold the puppy to a third party for cash.
The store received a call a few weeks after the purchase from someone who said they purchased one of the beagle puppies in a parking lot from a couple. The person was calling for more information on the puppy but hung up before they could be identified.
If you have any information on this puppy theft, please contact Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.
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