Police recover $2,500 puppy stolen from store

Posted at: 01/29/2013 5:25 PM
Updated at: 01/29/2013 5:38 PM
By: Mark Mulholland

QUEENSBURY- After a long three day weekend, the little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was back at home at Happy Tails dog store on Corinth Road.

Police say the 11-week-old puppy, which sells for 25-hundred dollars, was stolen last Friday. They say a young couple walked in and managed to distract the owner. The man asking about one puppy while a woman grabbed another and walked out.

"The guy asked me about a puppy. He showed me a picture of it on his phone," said Susan Purdue, owner of Happy Tails. "And I went over to the far side to show him and the girl went to the opposite side and I believe that's when she took the puppy and they walked right out."

Purdue says as soon as she noticed the dog was missing, she called police and posted its picture on Facebook.

Monday night, police got a tip and found the dog at an apartment occupied by Shawn Hewitt and his girlfriend, Gabrielle VanBrielle.

They're both charged with felony criminal possession of stolen property.

"They knew what they wanted. They showed the lady a photograph of the specific pet. Then they walked out with it," said Lt. Steven Stockdale of the Warren County Sheriff's Office.

Police say Hewitt has served time in state prison.

The store has surveillance cameras to keep an eye on the 30-or so purebred puppies, but the owner says they weren't connected.

"They were not hooked up at the time," Purdue said. "But they are now."