Game of cat and mouse in puppy theft
A BRISBANE woman whose 14-week-old puppy was brazenly stolen from her back yard has been reunited with the dog after a teenager contacted her demanding $1300 in exchange for the animal.
Sara Whomsley's black Staffy Gertie was taken from her Moorooka home while she and her husband were at work on Monday afternoon.
The art teacher said painters were working at the property when a man allegedly came in and took her dog from the back yard, telling the workers he was a friend collecting the animal.
The distraught dog owner frantically began posting in online forums to get the word out about her stolen puppy.
"It just breaks my heart. I just want to have my dog back," Ms Whomsley told The Courier-Mail early yesterday before she was reunited with Gertie.
"She's only little. She's 14-weeks-old and we've had her just four weeks."
Less than 24-hours after Gertie went missing, Ms Whomsley yesterday received a message online from a man claiming he had the puppy, sending photos as proof.
The man demanded $1300 in cash in exchange for the safe return of the beloved puppy and Ms Whomsley agreed to meet him yesterday afternoon at a Slacks Creek address.
"If I pay him I'm encouraging him to continue what he's doing but I don't want my dog to be injured or traumatised," she said.
Ms Whomsley, her husband and two adult sons went to the Slacks Creek address shortly after 5pm yesterday where a boy she described as a teenager arrived with Gertie who had a rope tied around her neck.
The Moorooka mother said she determined the boy seemed "harmless" and told him he only deserved $300 for the reward instead of the $1300 he demanded and he accepted the payment, handing Gertie back.
She said the teen claimed he purchased Gertie from a man at Yeronga for $1250 and later found out he was a missing puppy on Gumtree.
"It's a good outcome," Ms Whomsley said.
"All I wanted was just my puppy back."
Ms Whomsley said it was unclear whether the teen was linked to the man who stole Gertie from her yard, saying the painters' description of the thief did not match up.
Ms Whomsley said Gertie was a "very attractive" mixed American and English Staffordshire Bull Terrier that could easily be mistaken as a pure bred, making her a target for thieves.
"I guess there's a market because these puppies can cost thousands," she said.
A Queensland Police spokesman confirmed the dog theft was filed and police were looking for CCTV footage. Investigations are still underway.