Christmas 'grinch' posing as Uber driver takes couple's dogs

A grinch posing as an Uber driver tried to steal a couple's Christmas when he took off with their luggage including two dogs.

But someone with a heart helped bring the holiday back.

The King County couple was headed to California for the Christmas holiday, but they wouldn't go without their dogs.

"He just picked up three bags, got in the car and left," said Sandra Montez.

That is how she describes what happened outside her mother-in-law's house early Christmas morning. But the bags the man took included her two beloved dogs.

"My wife, everything in her life, she loves intensely," said Perry Anderson, "and that includes the dogs."

They say this all happened at 5:30 Christmas morning in a Tukwila neighorhood some two miles from Sea-Tac Airport.  Perry's mother lives here but they didn't want her to have to take them to the airport so early. So they scheduled an Uber.

About five minutes later, a person they assumed was the Uber driver showed up.

"It was dark," said Perry. "But he said 'is everything going?' And I said 'yeah.'  And then I went in to get her and the kid and then he just drove off."

"Basically our luggage and the dogs were stolen," said Sandra.

It happened as he went to collect her and the rest of their luggage. "He was gone maybe 30 seconds at most," Sandra said.

And seconds after that, the real Uber driver showed up.

They called Tukwila police.

"But we didn't have any information aside from it was a station wagon," she said. "It was a yellowish color?"

"Yellowish, brownish color, yeah," replied her husband.

Then they called KIRO 7.

And just as it seemed the grinch might steal their Christmas.

"I get a call from a guy saying, 'are you a dog owner?' " said Sandra.

He told them someone had dropped Romeo and 15-year-old Mocha off at his house.  And he wanted to return them.

"And he's like 'I'll meet you at the train station in Tukwila and I'll give you your dogs," she said. "Aside from some Christmas gifts, we don't care. We got our dogs. And we're still going to get to home with family."
They said they didn't really believe his story.  But they were so grateful, they gave him $50 anyway.

An Uber spokeswoman called the situation 'awful.'  They suggest riders wait for notification that their driver has arrived. And only then go outside to greet them.

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