BLOOMFIELD - Police in northern New Jersey are searching for an alleged car thief who stole a Jeep with a five-week-old puppy inside.
The puppy’s owner says she does not want to be identified because the theft was caught on her home’s surveillance system. She says that her puppy is a young Shih-Tzu named Shade.
The woman says that the thief stole her car when she left it running while trying to unlock her door.
"I left my car running because my dog was in there I didn't want him to get cold,” she says. “It's a normal thing. I come, I leave my bags and stuff in there, and I unlock the door because I don't want to have my bags and everything surrounding me while my back is turned."
She apparently was still making her way inside the home when the car was stolen.
"I can't chase a car,” she says. “And I didn't know if he had a weapon. What can I do?”
Bloomfield's police director says that equipment in the vehicle tracked the Jeep to Bayonne later in the day, but the puppy wasn’t inside. He cautions people never to leave the keys in a vehicle.
“It’s always when somebody goes out in the morning starts up their car leaves it unlocked running. It creates the crime of opportunity,” says Director Sam DeMaio
The victim says her puppy was too young to have his vaccinations or have a microchip placed under his skin.
The black Jeep was last tracked to Bayonne Friday afternoon. It has a Jersey license plate of H48-FCW.