SLIDELL, La. — Slidell police say they have arrested a suspect who is believed to have stolen a puppy from a pet store Monday.
Stephanie Oro, 29, of Slidell, was arrested at home Wednesday evening, according to Slidell Police.
Oro was located by police during a traffic stop. Police later went her home, where she admitted to stealing the puppy. The dog was found inside a closet at the home unharmed and returned to the pet store, police said.
From the moment the woman walked into the Double M Feed and Seed in Slidell Monday, employee Tami Misch said she was suspicious.
“She was acting a little odd,” said Misch. “She came in asking about the parakeets. And I was telling her about the parakeets. She wanted to buy two parakeets. I came around and asked her if she had a cage.”
Then, the conversation turned to a pair of toy poodle puppies on display. The puppies, 8-weeks old, were already claimed and were awaiting purchase later that afternoon.
“She wanted to hold the dog and I told her she couldn’t hold the dog and I put my hand on the cage,” said Misch.
But another customer came in distracting Misch. That’s when surveillance video shows the woman take the puppy out and put it in her purse before leaving.
“I come back in and I had a funny feeling,” she said. “I looked in the pen and I ran outside and got Mr. Carmello.”
“I can’t really tell you how I feel,” said store manager Carmello Chirico. “The nice way, it’s robbery.”
Chirico said this isn’t just about stealing; it’s about the safety and well-being of the dog and depriving a family of a pet.
“I’m very upset,” he said. “Angry probably. I’m more than angry.”
The store says its lucky break in this case is that they had the surveillance cameras installed two weeks ago.
“We hope that she brings the dog back, or the police find her fast enough to bring the dog back to us,” said Chirico.