Matthew Smith and Rochelle Cooke stole a puppy

Categories: Crime
smith cooke dog thiefs.jpg
These two really wanted a dog.
How much is that doggie in the window? It's free, if you grab it and run for the door.

But don't get caught. That's what happened to Matthew Smith and Rochelle Cooke, who were caught stealing a puppy from a Petland store in St. Paul on Monday.

The dognappers might've gotten away with it, if it weren't for a couple of small mistakes. First, the whole thing was recorded on Petland's surveillance camera. The thieves also left their car keys behind.

And it doesn't look any better when you do the whole snatch-and-grab while one of you is holding a three-year-old kid.

puppy grab.jpg
KSTP
The puppy was "starving" when she was returned to the store.
Smith, 23, and Cooke, 22, stole the puppy on Monday, and were each arrested and booked into Ramsey County Jail yesterday, according to the Pioneer Press. The three-year-old was placed in protective custody.

Petland owner Matt McCarthy said the puppy, a nine-week-old Boxer, looked like she'd had a rough day when she got back.

"I don't think they were feeding the dog properly," McCarthy said. "When she came back she was starving."

Now the puppy, who has no name but McCarthy described as well-bred and "very sweet," is back to normal and happy again.

McCarthy said it's not the first time something like this has happened.

"We've had some funny stuff happen here," he said. "Six months ago we had a lady who was charged with theft, who put a tiny little eight-week-old poodle in her purse and started running.

"The human-animal bond is very strong. But that people would go stealing a puppy when there are pets out there that need a home is crazy to me."


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