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Two arrested in theft of bulldog from pet store

December 8, 2012 5:12:35 AM PST
Police have arrested two people on charges of stealing a 7-week old puppy from a pet store in Elmwood Park, New Jersey.

24-year old Thomas Meshach and 21-year old Carmen Fucci were arrested at their home in Philipsburg, New Jersey.

Meshach is charged with theft, and Fucci is charged with conspiracy to commit theft.

The dog, Blackie, weighed just 6 pounds and would have been sold for $3,500. Blackie was taken on Monday by a man, who posed as a customer at the Aquarium at Route 4 in Elmwood Park, police said.

Pet store surveillance cameras captured the suspect walking in the store Monday night and within a minute, he slides open the door to the dog cages and takes Blackie. Then, looking back to make sure no one is watching, he hurries off to a bathroom in the back.

Blackie was thrown out of this bathroom window and landed in an aquarium full of cold, dirty water.

After throwing the dog out the window, the suspect is seen getting car keys from his girlfriend, presumably to put the dog in the car. But he wasn't done yet. He comes back in and he and his girlfriend go downstairs to try to steal a sugar glider, a small marsupial that costs $225.

Surveillance video shows the man reaching his hand into the cage, getting bitten, and giving up. Finally, the couple selected a $5 dog toy to buy, and leaves. Employees looked in on the bulldogs, and noticed Blackie was gone.

When Blackie was returned to the pet store, he is severely underweight and dehydrated.

Blackie should make a full recovery, but he won't be for sale anymore.

After all the dog has been through, the pet store owner, Joe Aversa, says he will keep Blackie for himself.

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