Thieves hit Thornton pet store again, 2 puppies stolen

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THORNTON, Colo. -- Some bold thieves hit a Thornton pet store Monday afternoon--snatching two puppies.

Now, Thornton Police need your help catching the crooks.

There's just something about a puppy. And at Renee Reece's Pet Ranch at 3823 East 120th Ave., a lot of people come in to look at the fur balls of affection.

"They love you. They love you unconditionally,” she said.

Some will shell out hundreds of dollars to take one home. "I have to take her. She's like, ‘Please take me,’” said one woman who was purchasing a Husky puppy.

But at least six times, Renee's surveillance cameras have captured people walking out  the door without paying for the pets.

"It's a devastating thing to have happen," she said. And it happened on Monday about 12:30 p.m. Surveillance video shows four people at the counter, one paying for a West Highland Terrier.

During that transaction a heavy-set, Hispanic woman with a red hat takes a Puggle to an area without a surveillance camera.

"Three of them went to the corner of the store, put the Puggle in the older woman's purse," said Renee.

Then, the video shows the lady emerge--no Puggle in her arms.

She walks out the door. But if you look closely, you see the Puggle peek it's head out of her purse.

Then, one man takes an AKC registered Labrador. "The guy went straight out the door with the Lab, because it was a larger dog there was nothing they could do to conceal it in," Renee said.

She said thefts are growing in epic proportions.

"Right now it's too easy for thieves. There's not enough repercussions. You steal a dog and get $2,000 on the black market, depending on the breed," she said.

It's why she supports toughening laws to make stealing pets more than just property crimes. "This isn't stealing a vacuum cleaner, this is a living creature. It feels pain, neglect, hurt, fear, illness, starvation. It's awful," she said.

Thornton Police are looking into whether the credit card used to buy one of the dogs will lead them to the thieves.

If you recognize any of the suspects, please call Thornton Police at 720-977-5150.

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