An adorable dog was snatched from in front of her owner’s front yard in Queens by a young woman passing by — but was set to be returned Wednesday after the girl’s own mother turned her in, according to the dog owner’s family.
“Chula,” a 2-year-old Shih Tzu, was taken about 8:20 a.m. Friday after apparently slipping her skinny body through the gate in front of her family’s home on 37th Ave. near 97th St. in North Corona.
Surveillance video showed Chula, unleashed and with no identifying tags on her, walking around a parked car, then wandering off camera.
“When I’m cleaning I usually open the door so she can get out, smell around, and watch people walk by,” said owner Doris Campos, 25. “I called her to come back and she wasn’t here anymore.”
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“When we call she always comes on the fly,” added her husband, Miguel Penaranda, 26.
She didn’t this time — and for good reason.
The video showed the suspect enter in and out of the camera’s view — then walk back in the opposite direction with Chula in her arms.
The woman is then seen looking in both directions before breaking into a jog.
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Cops released the video early Wednesday to the public in hopes somebody would recognize the suspect.
Although the video doesn’t show the woman actually snatching the dog, Campos said she immediately knew the dog in the video was hers.
“She had two purple ribbons in her hair,” Penaranda said of Chula. “She just got her hair done last week.”
A friend of the thief saw the video and called the woman’s mom, police told Penaranda. The mom called the cops — but claimed her daughter was afraid the dog was going to get run over and took Chula for her own safety.
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“I don’t believe her story, but it doesn’t matter because my dog is (going to be) home,” Campos said. “I’m so happy. I’m so relieved.”
Cops told the family the dog will be returned to them later on Wednesday, Campos said.
“We’ve had her since she was a baby,” Campos said, adding that her 5-year-old son was grief-stricken when the dog vanished.
“He was about to cry … he said ‘Why did she take my dog? Why can’t she get her own?'”
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