MARATHON, Fla. – A Miami couple was arrested Monday on accusations that they stole a French bulldog from a Marathon couple and then demanded $1,000 for its return.
Reinier Fuentes, 33, and Lilianne Dominguez, 26, were arrested outside Dadeland Mall by Miami-Dade police on charges of grand theft, dealing in stolen property and use of a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.
According to Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, a woman notified the agency on June 25 that she was receiving texts from unknown people demanding money for the safe return of her husband’s female French bulldog/service dog Sailor.
“She stated the dog had gotten out of her house earlier that day,” Linhardt said. “She began canvassing the 5th Avenue neighborhood and posting on Facebook with no luck.
“A short time later she began receiving phone calls and texts from the suspects, later identified as Fuentes and Dominguez, stating they had the dog. The suspects demanded $1,000 for the dog’s safe return.”
Linhardt said the couple told the woman they would meet up with her in Miami on June 26 to give her the dog back in exchange for the money.
Monroe County detectives then notified the Miami-Dade Police Department about the incident.
“The suspects sent the female victim several texts on June 26, changing locations and claiming they wanted to keep the dog,” Linhardt said. “The female victim stated she would pay whatever the price and the suspects instructed her to meet them at Dadeland Mall with the $1,000 or she would never see the dog again.”
Linhardt said Fuentes and Dominguez were stopped at the mall by Miami-Dade police officers and Sailor was returned to her owners unharmed.