NEW YORK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A New York dog owner was determined to retrieve her stolen pet, and she did in the most unexpected way.
It is a dog-napping story for the ages.
Fidel, a 15-year-old Chihuahua, was stolen from her owner, 37-year-old Jessica Gary, as Gary was walking her dog during off-leash hours in Prospect Park on Saturday afternoon.
Gary told CBS2's Scott Rapoport the dog-napper came out of nowhere.
"I heard a yelp and as soon as I turned around, he was gone," she said.
Angry and emotional, Gary and friends immediately put up posters offering a $3,000 reward. Gary was especially worried because Fidel is old and needed his daily medicine.
For the next two days, Gary drove around Brooklyn in a car with a friend, trying to find the purloined pooch while the story blew up on social media.
One tip led them to the area of Fifth Avenue and Douglass Street in Carroll Gardens. Sure enough, as Gary and a friend were driving, they say they saw a man and a woman walking a very familiar-looking dog.
It was Fidel.
"I was completely in shock," Gary said.
She says her friend immediately jumped into action -- racing out the car, snatching the dog from the startled couple, jumping back in the car and taking off.
Rapoport: "You guys stole the dog back."
Gary: "I would say we, we brought Fidel back to his rightful home."
But, she says, the man started chasing after them on foot, pounding on their vehicle.
"When he couldn't open the car doors, he began hitting the car window with a skateboard," Gary said.
She says she went directly to the police and told them about it. She says she is not in any trouble, and the NYPD confirms that.
She believes the man and woman she saw walking Fidel probably found him or bought him and that the real canine crook is still out there.
"I would love to locate the man who stole Fidel," Gary said.
But now she and Fidel are back together -- reunited by whatever means necessary.
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