THORNTON, Colo. -- A Thornton pet store needs your help identifying a family of puppy thieves.
A couple and their child strolled out of Pet Ranch without paying for a teacup Chihuahua valued at $1,000 on Sunday afternoon, the store owner said.
“When they steal a puppy, they’re stealing a living creature,” said Pet Ranch owner, Renee Reese.
Surveillance cameras captured the alleged thieves. The owner hopes someone will recognize the shoplifters and report them.
The video shows a man, a woman and a child in a stroller. Dad looks around, while mom stops at an open-top cage with two teacup Chihuahuas inside, the video shows.
Within 40 seconds, dad arrives, pilfers the puppy, showing the child first, before sticking it underneath the stroller.
"It’s bad enough you’re going to be a thief, but why use your children? I have a moral issue with that. It’s a child. It’s learning. This is what it’s being taught,” said Reese.
Thefts are not new to the store. It has a puppy snatchers wall—in which all but one of the nine thieves have been busted.
The thefts have never once made the owner want to keep the pets under lock and key.
“I don’t think they should be behind glass. They are not pictures. They’re parts of your life. They become parts of your family. So our store is set up so everyone can be hugged and held and petted all day long,” said Reese.
Thornton police described the thieves as Hispanic. The man was wearing a blue Indianapolis Colts football jersey with the number 21 on the back. He was 5-feet-7 to 5-feet-9, between 155 and 165 pounds and 23 to 28 years old.
The woman was 5-feet-5 to 5-feet-7 and 23 to 28 years old. She had long black hair, police said.
The child appeared to be about 2 years old.
If you recognize the family, call Thornton Police.