Puppy thief caught on camera

St. Petersburg police are looking for a man who was caught on camera stealing an 8-week-old puppy from a pet store.

Surveillance video shows the thief stuffing the dog into a backpack and walking out of the store.

It happened Wednesday at the Animal House Pet Center.

Steve Silk, the store's owner, said he thought it was obvious the man had an agenda. For more than 15 minutes, the man walked the store waiting for an opportunity. Within seconds he was able to grab the black and white Chihuahua, stuff it in a bag and leave.

"We had three of them and it was the last of the litter," Silk said.

The dog is valued at nearly $600, likely the reason it was targeted.

"The way he was so persistent about getting this dog, my feeling was that he probably already had someone that wanted it," Silk said.

The dog that was taken was not neutered and did not have a tracking chip.

Sherry Silk with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay said if the dog wasn't already sold, the thief could have plans to try and get even more money.

"My guess would be, this individual is going to take that puppy and when it gets old enough to breed, will breed it and sell the puppies," she said.

But for Steve Silk, money isn't the issue. He said the dog has very specific needs and could get sick.

"If we knew the dog was safe, it wouldn't even be about the money. I mean they could have the dog," Silk said.

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