STAMFORD, Connecticut (WABC) -- A grateful owner in Connecticut was reunited with her service dog after police say a car thief took off with her pet still inside.
It happened at around 4:50 p.m. Saturday on Richmond Hill Avenue.
Tashara Wilson, 48, and her Chihuahua mini-pinscher Bungee are grateful to be together again after the harrowing experience.
Police say Wilson quickly ran into a soup kitchen but left her car running with Bungee inside. Moments later the SUV and her dog were gone.
Wilson called police and officers spotted her vehicle on the other side of the city. A Stamford traffic camera captured what happened next: a foot pursuit of the suspect holding the dog.
One officer was tangled in the dog's leash while one of the suspects was holding it and hit his head on the pavement.
The dog fell but was unharmed while the suspect took off and ditched a black metal pellet gun.
"It's never a good situation when you are going around stealing cars that are occupied with other people's dogs, running from the police with fake guns on you," said Stamford Police Dept. Capt. Chris Baker.
Police eventually caught and arrested 20-year-old Isiah Armstead of Stamford. He was charged with second-degree larceny, conspiracy, operating a motor vehicle without a license, interfering with police, possession of a facsimile firearm, and cruelty to animals. He's being held on a $25,000 bond with a court date of December 8.
His passenger was identified as 18-year-old Paris Wade of Stamford. She is charged with second-degree larceny, conspiracy, and interfering with police. She was held on a $2,500 bond and also has a court date of December 8.
Wade was also arrested on an outstanding warrant for second-degree assault.
Back at Wilson's apartment on Monday, there was plenty of heartfelt gratitude for the officers who made the happy reunion possible.
"I don't even know how to thank them, I want to give them the world," Wilson said. "They don't know how much they saved both of us."
Wilson echoed what police say over and over again: it takes just seconds for someone to pull away in your running, unlocked car. So shut the vehicle off, take the key fob and lock the car.