Police: Craigslist hit leads to dognapping, attack

by: KIRO 7 STAFF Updated:

Police are looking for the man on the right who tried to steal this puppy in the Central District earlier this month. The puppy was not harmed.

Quick Facts: 

  • Man tried to steal a puppy from a Central District residence.
  • Suspect tackled and owner got his dog back. Suspect got away.
  • Police think it's tied to a Craigslist "hit."
  • Puppy not injured.

A man was attacked in an attempt to steal his puppy -- and the whole plan was part of a Craigslist "hit," Seattle robbery detectives say.

The incident happened June 2 when the dog owner was walking his puppy outside his apartment near 23rd Avenue and East James Street. Police said he noticed the suspicious, shaggy man following him, and that man started petting the pooch before picking it up and running.

“The victim chased after the man, tackled him and wrestled the dog away from the suspect, who fled,” department spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee said in a statement. “The victim, who sustained cuts to his hands and arms in the attack, called police and reported the incident. Officers searched the neighborhood, but weren’t able to find the suspect.”

A few hours later, the victim called police saying he’d found ads on Craigslist offering $100 to anyone who stole his dog, police said.

The victim believed the $100 hit was posted by a woman “who he had recently had a falling out with over the dog,” Spangenthal-Lee said.

“According to the victim, the dispute with the woman began about a month earlier after the woman returned from a trip to Mexico with a brand new dog,” Spangenthal-Lee said. “The victim said the woman offered him the dog, but began hounding him to return it after the victim had already paid to vaccinate, license and feed the pooch.”

Police contacted the woman and said that while she admitted to posting them, she claimed she didn’t want anyone to attack the man – just to get the dog back.

“The strange case was sent to robbery detectives, who have dug up a few leads in the case, including a few pictures of the suspected dognapper,” Spangenthal-Lee said.

The suspect is a white man, 25 to 35 and about 6-feet tall. He was last seen with tight pants, dark shaggy hair, large dark glasses, “and a possibly ironic Dick’s Drive-In commemorative Seahawks t-shirt and Seattle Supersonics cap,” Spangenthal-Lee said.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (206) 684-5535.

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