A crook was caught on camera allegedly swiping a sweet-faced wiener dog outside a Manhattan grocery store — breaking his elderly owner’s heart, she said.
“The dog is worth so, so much to my family that if [the thief] understood, he would want to return the dog, ” Victoria DeGrazia, 74, told the Post. “[I’m] devastated.”
The dognapper was first seen giving the 7-year-old miniature dachsh
und, Luca, a head scratch next to a Garden of Eden market in Morningside Heights while DeGrazia’s partner shopped for juice at around 4:35 p.m. Sunday, footage from the NYPD shows.
The pup poacher then untied Luca’s leash, which was wrapped around the side of a fruit stand, grabbed him — and bolted from the shop on Broadway and West 107th, according to police.
The quick trip to the store became a nightmare when DeGrazia’s partner walked out of the shop — and saw their furry friend was gone, according to DeGrazia and cops, who are hunting for the thief.
“This man came along and patted the dog on the head just to see if the dog would bark or bite. He looked around and untied the dog and just picked him up really quickly and took him away,” DeGrazia, a history professor at Columbia University. “We don’t know his name. We don’t recognize him.”
DeGrazia got the “well-tempered” dog when he was a puppy and that the breed now costs several thousands. But it’s not about the price of the pup, she said.
“The dog is beloved,” she said. “This is an exceptionally beautiful and healthy dog and we hope we get him back.”
The alleged dognapper, who is wanted for grand larceny, is described as roughly 5-foot-9 inches tall and 170 pounds with black hair. He was last seen wearing a blue and black jacket, dark jeans and a face mask.
Anyone with information should call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.
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