8-week-old puppy stolen from Hollywood pet store returned

HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - An 8-week-old puppy stolen from a Hollywood pet store has been safely returned by the very person who stole the tiny pup, according to surveillance video footage.

An employee of Puppy Palace, a pet boutique located along Hollywood Boulevard, said their stolen baby Maltipoo (a Maltese-poodle mix) was dropped off at their store at around 8 a.m., Friday morning, inside of a tomato box left right next to the front door.

The happy reunion with the little puppy was captured on cellphone video. “Baby! What did you do?” said storeowner Judy Norford as she squealed with happiness at the sight of the pooch.

The merely two-pound, female puppy vanished, Tuesday, after a woman accompanied by a small child walked up to the enclosed area where the white Maltipoo puppy was being displayed in. Less than five minutes later, the woman picked up the puppy, hid it in her purse and quickly walked out of the store with the little boy by her side.

“It was our big cleaning day, so everybody was doing different things. We had just opened at 12,” said Norford. She also said she had gone to pick up cleaning supplies when the theft happened and had even passed by the woman and child in the parking lot as they walked into the store.

Later, Norford stepped out of the store again when employees realized one of their three Maltese-poodles was missing. “I was furious. Again, the care of the puppy, the nerve and a child. A child,” she said. “I’m a mom of six kids. What kind of example is that?”

Norford filed a police report and hoped for the best.

Three days later, the woman was captured on a surveillance camera returning the puppy. “She came walking from the side from where her car had been parked the other day in our parking lot,” said Norford. “And her head is covered, she puts the box down and walks away.”

“She did the right thing by bringing her back, but she sure did the wrong thing, stealing our baby in front of her child,” said Norford on Friday. “I haven’t slept in two days worrying. She shouldn’t be allowed to just get away with it. No. She shouldn’t.”

The 2-month-old puppy was given a nice bath and food.

Police are still searching for the woman responsible.

If you have any information on this theft or recognize the woman in the surveillance video, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

The Maltipoo puppy is back for sale at Puppy Palace. If you would like to purchase the puppy or are interested in other puppies for sale, visit www.puppypalacefl.com/New-Arrivals.html.

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