UPDATE: Puppy reunited with owner at last

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 07:24

UPDATE (9 p.m. Saturday): The Anchorage Police Department updated its public alert Saturday evening to say the puppy has been reunited with its owner.

The department said police dispatch were called at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday by Animal Control saying the dog may have been dropped off.

“When officers arrived, they interviewed an adult male who said he found the dog from the Nixle,” reads the statement. “Officers called the victim to return to AACC and complete the verification process. Due to the mistaken identity situation from earlier this morning, AACC and APD took additional steps to verify this was in fact Dexter. Once the final step was taken, Dexter was released to the victim.”

APD said the man who dropped off Dexter is not a suspect and that the investigation continues.

A story on KTUU.com reported owner Noah Ralph of Chugiak got a call at around 6 p.m. notifying him Dexter had been returned.

UPDATE (2:45 p.m. Saturday): The Anchorage Police Department said Saturday afternoon a citywide puppyhunt continues for a missing mutt named Dexter.

Department spokesman MJ Thim said the owner thought he had identified the puppy as his own Saturday morning at the pound, but after bringing it home determined it was a female. Dexter is not.

“The search continues for Dexter,” Thim said Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday morning, the police sent out a public notice saying Dexter — a 3-month-old Labrador/Rottweiler mix stolen early Friday morning in Eagle River — had been reunited with his owner. Thim explained that on Saturday morning, Anchorage Animal Care and Control found a dog that looked like Dexter in its overnight drop and ummediately notified police.

“The officer goes over and verifies from the picture it’s the dog, the victim comes up and verifies to us that it is indeed Dexter,” Thim said.

But it wasn’t, Thim said, and police continue what’s become a dogged search for the missing puppy.

A Facebook message sent to a person claiming to be Dexter’s owner was not immediately returned Saturday afternoon.

Thim said investigators continue to work with Walmart to find more information about the dognapping suspect, a white woman driving a green SUV.

Thim said the puppy left in the overnight drop was returned to the pound, where it remained Saturday. He did not know its name.

ORIGINAL STORY:

The Anchorage Police Department issued a special public Nixle alert Friday morning after a puppy was allegedly stolen from a vehicle in the Eagle River Walmart parking lot.

The department issued the alert at just after 9 a.m., about eight hours after the incident. According to the alert, the owner of the vehicle told police he was inside for “less than 10 minutes.” When he returned, the man allegedly found the driver’s side window smashed out and the puppy — described as a 3-month-0ld Labrador/Rottweiler mix named Dexter — was gone.

Police were looking for a suspect in the case, a woman described as “an adult white female wearing a light color jacket and a white hat” who they say fled in a dark green SUV with a tire on the back.

APD spokesman MJ Thim said the man saw a vehicle speeding away as he left the store, which is how APD was able to get a description of the vehicle. He said surveliance footage from Walmart further helped APD identify the suspect.

Thim said the alert was issued due to the unusual nature of the situation.

“It’s very unusual, it’s very rare we have situations like this,” he said.

Thim said he didn’t have numbers of reported pet thefts in the municipality. However, he said such “smash-and-grab” cases are rare.

“The manner this happened in, the investigators felt they needed the public’s help,” he said.

Thim said the unusual circumstances of the case warranted the public alert.

“Pets are like kids to a lot of people,” he said.

Anyone with information about the incident can call APD dispatch at 786-8900 or Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP.

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