By MADDY PUMILIA
GLENDALE, Arizona (KTVK, KPHO) — Glendale police arrested three people for allegedly stealing two dogs worth $10,000 each on Wednesday.
Body camera video released by Glendale police shows two of the suspects arrested by officers and the dogs reuniting with their owners. On the body camera video, the dog owner tells officers, “You guys literally made our Christmas.”
The dogs were returned just in time because the family was moving.
“They were getting ready to move out of state. So they were just overjoyed at the idea that their fur babies were returned to them unharmed,” said Jose Santiago, Glendale Public Safety media relations manager.
The dogs, named Paris and Lala, were stolen earlier this month near 67th Ave and Bell Road. Glendale police said one of the suspects, April Wilder came back to the victim’s home with one of the dogs asking for a reward.
“The male victim noticed that the car that April Wilder was in matched the description of the car that neighbors said had picked up the dogs in the first place,” said Santiago.
Those neighbors played a crucial role in getting the dog returned.
“This is a lesson a lot for us as a community to kind of keep an eye out for one another,” said Santiago. “Because these neighbors saw something, they said something; they alerted the homeowners to what they saw and witnessed, and that helped get the situation to a close.”
Police were able to track down the other dog with the other two suspects, Charles Austin and Barry Grier, at a nearby park near 23rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road.
Reuniting the dog was not just a happy moment for the dog owners, but for officers too.
“A lot of times, people don’t realize our officers have feelings and emotions as well. So they want to be able to have these happy endings. They want to be able to bring your loved ones home regardless of their four-legged or two-legged, and for them, they were just thrilled that this had the ending that works for everybody.” said Santiago.
Police have this advice to dog owners to keep their pets safe. “As a dog owner, you always want to keep an eye on your animals and make sure that they’re safe and secure and don’t leave them unattended. In this particular situation, we had a happy ending,” said Santiago.
The suspects have all been booked on several charges, including felony theft.
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