Man suspected of puppy theft in Fort Myers identified, dog recovered

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A puppy that was stolen from a pet store was recovered from a home and is safe, according to FMPD.

Someone stole a 9-week-old Shih Tzu this past weekend and across the internet, people were searching for it.

Now, WINK News is learning more about the suspect and why he may have taken it in the first place. William Drumheller has supposedly done things like this before.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrested the man on Tuesday for violating his probation. Fort Myers Police say a possible charge against him is theft of a puppy, which is a felony.

All of these things had his family worried because of his struggles with his mental health issues.

Bandit has already survived quite an ordeal at just 9-weeks-old.

A person called the police, saying they know the puppy snatcher. “Stolen dog from a pet shop. Just saw this on the news. Complainant has the K-9,” you can hear in the calls.

The woman who called spoke to WINK News off-camera and says she saw the man’s picture on our newscast. She recognized the man carrying the dog out of its pen because it’s her uncle.

The woman says Drumheller, 42, suffers from mental health issues and that the family has been trying to get him help for years.

She says Drumheller dropped the puppy off at her mom’s house and everyone thought that was strange.

When they saw our story on TV, it confirmed their worst fears.

“This is the little sister and this is the little brother,” she said.

Gabriel Sayer is a manager at Pet Kingdom and WINK News spoke to her soon after she got the news that Bandit is okay.

“It was a freak incident I mean everything runs through your mind like ‘oh my God how could somebody do this? how could this cruel person just walk in here and just steal a dog,'” Sayer said.

Jeff Thompson is the owner of Pet Kingdom says he ran all the worst-case scenarios through his head. But now, relief has replaced his three days’ worth of stress.

“It’s not like we’re selling t-shirts and sneakers these are lives and emotions,” Thompson said.

Thompson says he doesn’t typically name dogs at his store but this one deserved the name Bandit.

Now, he’s rearranged the store and put locks on the pens to make sure no one takes another dog.

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