$2,500 reward offered after beloved puppy stolen from Lafayette pet store

Bay Area

LAFAYETTE (KRON) — A puppy was stolen from Pet Food Express on Mount Diablo Boulevard in Lafayette.

Now, Pet Food Express, Jelly’s Place Animal Rescue and Lafayette Police are asking for the public’s help with identifying the thief.

They say the woman seen in surveillance video stole a Chihuahua-mix puppy during an adoption event at the pet store on Sunday.

Surveillance video captured the thief red-handed.

You see the woman walk into the side entrance of Pet Food Express.

Moments later she has Iris, a 4-month-old Chihuahua mix puppy, in her hands.

“She was in a play pen and a lady had picked her up, asked about her and I told her I’d be with her in just a minute and to leave Iris in the pen until I can talk with her,” said Julie Bainbridge, founder of Jelly’s Place Animal Rescue in San Pablo.

Bainbridge brought Iris and a handful of other dogs to Pet Food Express on Sunday for an adoption event.

“I was finishing up an adoption and I turn around to talk to her and she’s gone,” Bainbridge said.

The pup was gone after the woman’s seen standing in one of the aisles, combing through items, finally making her way to the main entrance.

Oddly she pauses and spends some time staring out the window and then finally leaves the store, taking Iris with her.

“You know [we] frantically started looking for her and you know she wasn’t in the store and she wasn’t inside, so she definitely took the dog,” Bainbridge said.

Bainbridge describes the thief as a woman in her 20s, with dark hair, a tattoo on her right hand and a nose ring. She says the woman got away with a popular puppy.

“She loves kids, adores kids,” Bainbridge said. “We have a junior program at the shelter and when they come, she knows she’s gonna get played with and she’s gonna get walked and gets to carry her toys around and follow the kids. She’s just a really outgoing puppy.”

Now Bainbridge, the pet store and Lafayette Police are working together to track down the suspect.

“To steal an innocent little dog and make us wonder what’s going on with her?” Bainbridge said. “That’s just not right and I’m worried about Iris and I just want her back.”

This scare happened between 3 and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

The woman was also wearing a hat and all black.

If you recognize her, contact the store, shelter or police department.

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