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O.C. puppy snatchers offer apology, money, but no dog

January 28, 2012 | 11:28 am

Two individuals who stole a chow puppy from an Orange County pet store sent an apology and $600 in cash to the business, but a law enforcement spokesman said Friday the two are still wanted for
theft.

The puppy was shoplifted from the Pet City store in Stanton on Thursday afternoon, authorities said. Orange County sheriff's deputies released surveillance tape of the heist Friday.

Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino told City New Service that a shopper was approached by a woman Friday evening who offered $20 if the shopper would "carry an apology note and $600 cash into the store."

The shopper walked into the store and called the Sheriff's Department. "Detectives were called, they confiscated the money as evidence, and the dog is still missing,'' Amormino said.

The woman who offered the cash and apology disappeared by the time deputies arrived. 

During Thursday's theft, a woman distracted employees while a male accomplice extracted the puppy from a locked cage. Pups have been stolen twice before in recent years from the shop but were returned after surveillance video was shown on TV, authorities said. 

"We want people to know that even an apology note and paying for the dog doesn't the settle the crime,'' Amormino told City News Service. "The money has to be booked as evidence, so the store has not been paid."

Amormino said many tips had been phoned in with clues as to the identity of the puppy-nappers.

Anyone with tips about the incident may call detectives at (855) TIP-OCCS.

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-- Martha Groves

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