Man Arrested in Theft of Golden Retriever in SF’s Japantown

Officers have arrested a man accused of stealing a Golden Retriever earlier this month from outside a storefront in San Francisco's Japantown, police said Thursday.

Police have identified the man as 53-year-old Le Van Loc of San Francisco. Loc is suspected of stealing the dog, Lily, from the 1700 block of Post Street on July 13.

According to police, the dog's owner left Lily on a leash that was tied to a pole outside the store, and when she came back Lily was gone. The store's surveillance video footage showed a suspect kneeling down near the dog, untying the leash from the pole and walking away with the dog.

Officers searched the area, but couldn't find the dog or the suspect, police said.

The following day, good Samaritans found the dog safe in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood in the first block of Cyril Magnin Street.

Police were then able to reunite Lily with her owner while officers sought the suspect seen on surveillance video, police said.

Then on Tuesday, officers responded to a report of a man armed with a hammer breaking vehicle windows in the 1600 block of Franklin Street.

When officers detained the man near Octavia and Sacramento streets, they realized that suspect had outstanding theft warrants and arrested him. He was identified as Loc.

When officers realized Loc appeared similar to the dog theft suspect, investigators moved to develop probable cause to arrest him on suspicion of grand theft of a dog. Loc's been booked into San Francisco County jail.

Anyone with further information about the case can call San Francisco police at (415) 575-4444. Callers may remain anonymous.

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