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14-year-old dog stolen from Bloomfield Stop & Shop returned to owners

Dog inside car stolen from N.J. parking lot returned to owner
Dog inside car stolen from N.J. parking lot returned to owner 00:24

HILLSIDE, N.J. -- A dog that had been missing after a car theft in New Jersey is back with his owners.

Police say Mayrelis Rodriguez's 14-year-old Maltese named "Baby" was in the family car when it was stolen at a Bloomfield Stop & Shop parking lot on Monday morning.

Her boyfriend said he left Baby in their locked black Infinity while he went in the store.

"The door was locked. They busted the back window," Isai Torres said. "I went inside to buy her some medicine and some groceries, and came back out and the car was gone with the dog in it."

Police recovered the black Infinity on Tuesday in Hillside soon after investigators say it crashed into a police car in Cranford, but Baby was not in the car.

Then, officers brought a man handcuffed into the Hillside Police Department.

Bloomfield police say two suspects were involved, arriving at the Stop & Shop in another car. Investigators are still trying to figure how the suspects stole the Infinity with Baby in it.

"The owner was in possession of the key fob, so we believe the car was running. Maybe this certain type of vehicle .. when you hit the brake, it doesn't shut off. We are researching that with Infinity right now," Bloomfield Police Director Samuel DeMaio said.

Police reached out to area shelters, and the family offered a $500 reward for any information leading them to their dog. Sources told CBS2 on Tuesday afternoon the suspects would not tell investigators where the dog was.

Tuesday evening, Rodriguez told CBS2's Christine Sloan the mother of one of the suspects returned Baby.

There is no word on whether anyone has been charged.  

Meanwhile, it is illegal in New Jersey to leave a dog unattended in a car under inhumane conditions. However, police say they're still investigating the circumstances of the case.

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