VIDEO: Woman walks out of Petland store with puppy in hand

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UPDATE — The puppy was recovered in “good health” by Wednesday, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies are still investigating the incident, and they have some leads thanks to input from people who’ve been following the case, according to the store.

FORT MYERS, Fla.- A woman was caught on surveillance cameras walking out of a Petland store with a 2-month-old French Bulldog puppy in hand.

“We never would thought somebody would just come into our store and just steal a dog,” said James Chojnacki, Petland sales manager.

The woman walked in with an apparent accomplice, a man in a striped shirt. The suspects part ways, with the woman first going to the counter and keeping her sunglasses on the whole time.

“She initially comes in to return a flea collar, but the flea collar’s not something that we sell here,” Chojnacki said. “She just says ‘okay, that’s fine, I understand,’ and she’s gonna go look at the puppies is what she told them.”

The suspect then made her way to an exercise pen where she picked up the puppy and walked away. Chojnacki says people are allowed to pick up the animals and hold them, but aren’t supposed to walk around the store with them.

“We had a lot of people in the store, and unfortunately all of our pet counselors were busy trying to help them,” Chojnacki added.

The woman walked over to the male suspect and spoke with him for a few minutes before they left separately.

Petland employees say the stolen puppy wasn’t for sale yet, but is worth $5,300.

“If you watch the video, you can definitely tell they had a plan the whole time,” Chojnacki said. “They’ll take these high priority dogs and they resell them cause they know the worth.”

Petland says the stolen puppy currently has a cold and needs to be returned so she can finish her medication.

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