LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) – An 8-year-old Pomeranian stolen early Wednesday has been reunited with her owner after an alert woman in Lauderhill discovered the pet wandering around her neighborhood and called police.
There were some emotional moments inside the Broward Sheriff's Office headquarters as Lacey was reunited with her owner, Shelley.
Someone had stolen Lacey and the car Shelley had lived in with a friend at 1 a.m. Wednesday from a Lauderdale Lakes Walmart store.
"I am relieved," said Shelley. "You don't know how relieved I am. I didn't sleep. I didn't eat for two days. I was miserable."
Shelley told CBS4's Peter D'Oench, "This little dog was like my daughter. I missed her. I thought of her every second and what the guy was doing to her. I thought she could wind up dead. I was thinking what that guy could have done to her. He could have thrown her out on the highway. He could have thrown her in a dumpster."
Shelley said the thief stole their car keys while they slept in the car. Then he lured them out of the car by telling them someone in the store wanted to speak to them. Then he took off with the car.
BSO spokeswoman Gina Carter said an alert Lauderhill resident had been watching the news coverage Wednesday about Lacey and saw her in her neighborhood and called Lauderhill Police.
"I think this was wonderful that a viewer took this to heart after this family lost everything," said Carter.
She said BSO employees took a special interest in this case.
"We have a lot of animal lovers here," said Carter.
"I want to thank this woman who found her," said Shelley. "I want to know who this person is and thank her personally."
Carter also said the stolen car was ditched near BSO headquarters and was discovered by a civil deputy for BSO who knows the area.
BSO said a number of items were taken from the car including a laptop computer.
Lacey has some previous nerve damage in a paw and limps. BSO said she was tired and "stressed" but is healthy.
Shelley plans to give her some special treatment.
"I plan to give her some steak and hamburger," she said.
BSO said the suspect is in his early 20s and has short dreadlocks.
"What would say to the person who took your car?" D'Oench asked Shelley.
"I want to do something but I don't want to commit a crime," she said. "That does not fix matters. I just want him put away."
BSO said the Homeless Outreach Initiative is going to help Shelley and her friend.
She will also get her car back after it is processed by BSO.
Anyone who can help find the suspect should call Broward Crime Stoppers at (954) 493-TIPS (8477).
for more features.