Puppy stolen from woman's car while she waited at a stop light found

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jul 07, 2017

UPDATE (7:50 p.m.) | Bella, the puppy who was stolen out of a Brandon woman's car while stopped at a red light, is back home with her owner and in good health. 

Laura Rodriguez reached out and told us that a friend found a post on Craigslist in the lost and found animal section and immediately contacted her. She went to made sure it was Bella and it was.

According to Rodriguez, the stranger told her she found Bella near Mort Playground Park in Lutz .


ORIGINAL STORY | A Brandon woman says a driver stole her puppy while she sat at a red light in broad daylight.

Laura Rodriguez says she and her sister were driving along Bruce B. Downs when another driver cut them off.

She says she kept going, letting it go, until they ended up at the same stop light near Holly Dr.

That’s when she saw the woman start yelling profanities at her...before getting out of her car.

“I don't know who this lady is,” she said, “I don't know what's going on.”

Rodriguez watched as she approached the car she and her sister were in.

She heard one of her dogs squeal and then realized the woman had grabbed her from the open window in the back seat. 

“I’m like, ‘did she just take my baby?’, “Rodriguez said, “Like, what's going on?"

Rodriguez watched as the woman took off with her three month old pup, Bella, a Lab-Pit-Chihuahua mix.

She says the woman sped off, running the red light and heading into the USF campus nearby.

She says she tried following her, but couldn’t catch up.

“It's like taking somebody’s baby” Rodriguez said, “They are my babies, they’re everything to me.”

Rodriguez filed a report with Hillsborough County deputies.

Deputies couldn’t find any surveillance cameras near where the theft took place that might have caught the thief in the act.

Rodriguez wasn’t able to get the driver’s license plate number, only remembers she was driving a dark grey or black older sedan with a male passenger.

She’s willing to avoid pressing any charges under one condition, “you did what you did you can live with that as long as you bring her back to me.”

Rodriguez plans on posting flyers of her dog around nearby businesses to help spread the word and find her pup.

Deputies are also now investigating.