Stolen Puppy Now Back With Adoptive Family

Police credit sting operation for nabbing dognappers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A puppy had just been adopted when thieves broke in to his kennel and stole him. But thanks to good police work, Opie is back with his new family.

    Police in the Bay Area community of Fremont this week retrieved a stolen pit bull and returned it to an animal shelter after the two alleged thieves tried to sell the puppy online.

    Dave O'Connor fell in love with the dog and had signed adoption papers just before the dog was snatched.  "I was in total shock. I couldn’t believe that somebody would do that, come in and take a puppy like that," O'Connor said.

    On Tuesday, a 19-year-old man and a juvenile went into the Tri-City Animal Shelter at 1950 Stevenson Blvd. and stole the puppy, according to police. The two brought the pit bull outside, hopped a fence and fled the area on foot, police said.

    The puppy was about to be placed with the O'Connors, but was later put up for sale on Craigslist.

    Detectives working the case took it seriously and set up a sting to buy the puppy from the two thieves in the area of Decoto Road and Fremont Boulevard.  The sting happened Thursday.

    When the puppy exchanged hands, a team of officers detained the seller and his accomplice.

    The pair, whose names were not immediately available, were both cited for theft.

    "We had hoped for the best as a family but with everything going in the world we figured he was probably low priority," said O'Connor, who lives in Pleasanton.  "I had hopes because the shelter was in the Fremont police department backyard. I was hoping they would be a little upset about it and want to figure it out, and they did – they did a great job."

    The dog was returned to the animal shelter where it was united with the O'Connor family Friday.

    One last thing, the dog has been named Opie.

    Bay City New contributed to this report.