Glendale PD asks for help to find puppy snatcher

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-04 07:41:18-04

Glendale police are asking for the public's help to find a puppy snatcher who is accused of stealing dogs right from owners' hands.

Police said two people working together are suspected of contacting dog breeders or sellers through online ads, then when they meet up, the suspect snatch the puppies from the owners' hands. The pair would then turn around and sell the stolen animals on Craigslist for thousands of dollars.

The breeds targeted have been English bulldogs, valued between $2,500 and $3,500.

"It’s just scary to think that someone would do something like that," said Gwen Kottmann who had a puppy stolen right out of her hands. "I turned around and she was gone and the puppy was gone."

Police began investigating on May 23 when two puppies were taken from their owner while they were meeting with the suspects in a parking lot near 67th Avenue and Camelback Road.

Detectives were able to track one of the snatchers and recover a stolen dog as the suspect attempted to sell it.

"Thank God we got him back and he’s happy and he’s healthy and he’s playing with his little sister," said Kottmann. 

Nineteen-year-old Bryonna Shepard admitted to stealing and selling the dogs, but would not provide any information on her accomplice. Shepard has been charged with felony theft.

Police are still searching for the second suspect, described as a black male in his 30s, with short black hair, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall, with a heavy-set build. He is believed to have tattoos on his neck and arms.

Detectives are also asking anyone that may have purchased a stolen puppy to please contact Glendale police. They are aware of four possible cases in Glendale, Phoenix, Avondale, and Scottsdale.

"They bring such joy to people, so for some to just steal them, it’s crazy," said Kottmann.