PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Pembroke Pines police arrested a man who allegedly stole a $6,000 dog from a pet store.
Vahid Anthony McLaughlin, 47, was arrested on a grand theft charge.
The crime was reported Monday morning at a Petland store off University Drive just north of Pines Boulevard.
A store manager told Local 10 News that the man, who had a distinctive Mohawk hairstyle, asked to see a pompapoo, which is a cross between a Pomeranian and a toy poodle.
The manager said the man began acting erratically with the puppy named Toby before pushing an employee and walking out of the store with the dog.
“He said he wanted to take the puppy to the vet,” Petland manager Stephani Victor said. “He left his ID here and his bicycle, and he left his social security and his address with us so obviously he wasn’t completely there.”
With that information, Pembroke Pines police were able to track down McLaughlin and arrest him, with officers also finding Toby.
Unfortunately, what Petland employees feared was indeed what happened as the puppy was mistreated and not properly cared for.
“He was in a cardboard box in his own urine. He did not look good. He was unresponsive, he wasn’t moving, he looked very skinny, he looked hypoglycemic, his gums were white,” Victor said.
While Petland employees still try to understand why McLaughlin took Toby after filling out finance information to purchase the dog, they are thankful he has been returned and is already starting to build back his strength.
“He has eaten. He is getting a little bit better, that’s great news,” said Victor, who said Petland now plans to donate Toby to a family in need.