Car with two dogs inside stolen from Maplewood gas station


courtesy of Maplewood Police Department • COMBINED CUTLINE: A black 2013 Ford Fusion, similar to the one in this photo, was stolen from a Holiday gas station in Maplewood the evening of Feb. 11. The stolen car has damage on the rear driver’s side bumper and a Minnesota license plate with the number 2DG309.

courtesy of Maplewood Police Department • The Maplewood Police Department is looking for help identifying the man who allegedly stole a running vehicle with two dogs inside. The above photo was taken from video surveillance at a Holiday gas station in the 1200 block of Cope Avenue in Maplewood, where the theft took place.

Dogs safely returned home the following day, but thief still at large.

 

When a Maplewood couple left their car idling in front of a local gas station around 6:20 p.m. Feb. 11, they had two dogs with them, but when they returned they found both their vehicle and pets gone.

According to a statement from the Maplewood Police Department, the couple left their black, 2013 Ford Fusion running while they went into the Holiday gas station at 1285 Cope Ave. because it was a cold night and their pets were in the car.

Police said that while the couple was in the gas station, a man left the building, walked past the car, then turned around, got into the vehicle and drove off with the dogs still inside. The car the suspected thief had arrived in, a dark colored, late-model Chrysler 200 with no front license plate, left the parking lot following behind the stolen Ford Fusion, police said. 

Following the theft, reports of the crime flooded news outlets and social media, and according to Maplewood Cmdr. Dave Kvam, the coverage seems to have aided in the return of the two stolen dogs, an Australian shepherd Willow and a German shepherd Koda.

Somebody who knows the alleged thief apparently learned of the incident on social media and convinced the man to give up the dogs, Kvam said. It was this acquaintance who returned the dogs to their owners Feb. 12.

Kvam could not confirm how this person knows the thief.

Although the thief is still at large, Kvam said police do have a suspect, and at press time police were in the process of referring the case to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for theft charges, though they declined to name him. 

 

‘Crime of opportunity’

Kvam said that thefts of unattended, idling vehicles have been a problem in Maplewood recently, especially over the winter when residents are tempted to walk away from their vehicles as they are warming them up.

A similar incident occurred a few days after the Feb. 11 incident, this time involving someone leaving a car running as they went into a local Walgreens in the middle of the night, Kvam said.

“It takes a few seconds for the crime of opportunity to take place,” he said, adding that Maplewood, like many other cities, actually has an ordinance against people leaving their keys in their cars, and that this type of crime is very preventable.

In the case involving the Maplewood couple with the two dogs, Kvam said that police are happy the dogs have been returned, but are still working to recover the stolen Ford Fusion.

 

The Minnesota license plate number of the stolen vehicle is 2DG309 and the car has damage to the rear, driver’s side bumper.

Anyone with information about the theft can call the Maplewood Police Department at 651-767-0640, 911, or email the department at tips@maplewoodmn.gov

Information can also be passed along anonymously through Crime Stoppers of Minnesota by calling 1-800-222-8477 or at www.crimestoppersmn.org.


 

— Aundrea Kinney

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here