Who snatched Matsu?
A playful little Yorkshire Terrier was dognapped while waiting for his master outside a Fort Greene deli last Friday — one of three known pooch thefts in the area in the past five weeks.
Joan Hong — who is now offering a $1,000 reward for her dog’s return — said her boyfriend tied up the pup outside Hanson’s Gourmet Deli on Hanson Place at 11 pm.
He came back a few minutes later and discovered only a leash tied to a pole — no Matsu in sight.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “It doesn’t even seem real; it keeps hitting me in waves.”
Matsu — who’s black and tan with a stocky build — could not have freed himself, Hong said. It was obvious that someone had undone his harness.
The frantic couple hopped on bicycles and posted dozens of “missing dog” fliers around the neighborhood. They later took to the Internet, posting ads on Craigslist to no avail.
The apparent dognapping comes exactly one week after a white terrier named Winston was stolen — from a cop, no less — by a trio of out-of-towners in Prospect Heights.
In an equally bizarre case, thieves smashed the window of a woman’s apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, took a diamond ring, a laptop and her 7-year-old Yorkie named Boots on July 7.
“It’s like stealing a part of the family,” said Eleanor Almeida, Boots’s human companion. “We’re still praying he comes back safely.”
Snatching dogs is nothing new — especially small expensive breeds that are easily flipped on the black market — according to the American Kennel Club. In fact, the group notes that stolen pet reports have skyrocketed — from 150 to 224 — in the city in the past year.
Tony neighborhoods are not immune, according to groomers at the upscale shop Pup Slope in Park Slope, noting that the shop’s bulletin board has seen a slew of stolen and missing pet signs this summer.
“Yorkies are very popular and worth quite a bit of money,” said the worker, who asked not to be named. “It’s just like any possession.”
Even so, a spokesman for the NYPD said dog theft is rare. “Has it happened before? Yes,” he said. “Is it widespread? No way.”
In this case, a suspect could be charged with petit larceny — Matsu cost $900 — although the crime is emotionally on par with a kidnapping.
Indeed, Hong said she and her boyfriend James Reinholt consider the pooch their kid. “He’s the reason I wake up in the morning,” she said.
Reinholt — who wore a deep crease between his eyebrows while posting fliers on Tuesday — was more blunt.
“Just give us our freakin’ dog back,” he said. “It’s not fair.”
Anyone with information about Matsu is asked to call (917) 587-1276.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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