The robbery occurred at the Petland located at 356 N University Dr. at around 8 p.m., Saturday. Reportedly, the suspect, who was wearing baggy clothes and a hat, asked employees to see a black miniature schnauzer.

The suspect took the puppy into a play area inside the store. Moments later, when an employee at the front of the store walked away, surveillance video captured the suspect as she stuffed the $1,100 dog under her shirt and walked out. “She did it pretty fast and pretty quick,” said store manager Stephanie Bechtler. “She was looking all over the place trying to scope out the place. I think it was definitely prepared.”

Bechtler believed the bandit took advantage of the fact that the store was busy. The three pet store employees were with other customers at the time of the crime. “When someone comes in and steals a puppy from us, it kind of hits us hard,” Bechtler said.

Bechtler is now concerned about the stolen puppy’s health. “These are 2-month-old dogs. They’re very sensitive. They have a very vulnerable immune system and just a change in environments or changing the food, giving something that’s not right, really can harm the puppy,” she said.

Two years ago, two puppies were stolen from this same Petland store but were found within hours of the theft. The robber responsible was consequently arrested. Employees hope the thief in this case will also be caught.

Pembroke Pines Police are currently investigating the robbery.

If you have any information on this theft, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a reward.

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