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North Phoenix neighborhood on alert after rise of dog abductions

Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-30 17:03:23-04

Dogs are disappearing from a north Phoenix neighborhood, and at least one was taken right in front of the owner's eyes. 

Buster was in his owner's front yard when a woman knocked on the front door to the Sunnyslope area home. Jinna Sandoval said her husband answered the door. 

"She's all, 'are these your dogs?' And he said, 'yeah, they're my dogs.' She immediately scooped Buster up, threw him in the passenger seat, ran around to the side and drove off," said Sandoval. 

Sandoval's son tried chasing the woman on foot. He almost caught her when she momentarily pulled into a nearby parking lot. 

"She was really aggressive. She was yelling at me," said Christopher Sandoval. 

But Buster was gone.

It was a similar story not far away when Lily Williams' dog, Pepper, went missing last Sunday. 

"I was like, dog thieves don't normally make conversation with you," said Williams, befuddled at what happened. 

In Pepper's case, a security cam recorded part of the theft. The video shows Pepper in the street when a car pulls up. A woman gets out and chases the dog off camera. 

Lily wasn't home at the time, but her neighbor was there when the thief knocked on his door. 

"She had the dog in her arms, and she was petting the dog," said Jerry Anzalone, Williams' neighbor. "I feel a little bit remiss that I didn't take the dog but who in the heck ever theorized that someones' going to steal a dog."

The victims found each other on social media and contacted police sketch artist, Maggie Keane, who ABC15 has even hired for certain court cases, to draw a description of the blonde suspect. Now, they're canvassing with flyers hoping to track down the Sunnyslope dog thief.

"Even if you want to tell me you're a horrible person for leaving your dog outside, that's fine. Just bring my dog back," said Williams. 

Phoenix police said they are investigating and if this has happened to anybody else they want to hear from you.