Dog stolen from Tacoma front lawn; owner hurt trying to stop thieves

TACOMA, Wash. — Tacoma police are investigating after a woman says two people stole her eight-month-old puppy right out of her front yard near S. Sprague Avenue and S. 19th Street.

The dog owner, Amber Brown, says she was also seriously hurt trying to stop the suspects.

“Unbelievable someone would do that,” Brown said. “Scary,” she said. The assault happened around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Brown said she wouldn’t call herself a breeder, but her dogs occasionally have a litter and she has sold puppies in the past. She believes that’s how the two women who showed up at her door learned where she lived.

“Someone came knocking on my door, crying and saying their dog had died,” Brown said. “They were begging me please, their dog died. Asking, do we have any puppies or dogs? We really want one,” she said.

Brown’s daughter, Georgegina Bright, said she was at the front door too.

“The people came saying, one of your common friends told me you were selling puppies,” Bright said.

Brown said she wasn’t planning to sell eight-month-old “Popcorn,” a Pikapommapoo hybrid, but after hearing the women’s story she decided to go ahead with the sale.

“To come up to my house and beg me and plead with me. I just felt sorry for them,” Brown said.

Surveillance video shared in a Nextdoor post shows them talking about Popcorn, and you see both Popcorn and another pup (named Lucy) run out to the front lawn.

KIRO7 blurred the women’s faces in the surveillance video because Tacoma Police said they have identified people of interest and are sorting out the case.

Brown says she and the women had settled on a price for Popcorn when the situation took a turn.

“One gal grabbed the dog and started taking off. And I said, hey wait a minute you can’t just take my dog like that,” Brown said. “I was trying to run after them,” she said.

Brown said she was partway in the women’s truck when they started driving and pushing her out, with one woman hitting her hand that was holding onto a car ceiling handle.

“I go, ‘Oh God,’ because I knew I was going to fall,” Brown said.

Brown says she fell on the pavement and that two of her fingers were partly ripped off in the commotion.

“They were both ripped off here because they were hitting me and pushing me out the truck, and these got torn off halfway,” she said, pointing at her splinted and bandaged fingers. Brown said she may need further surgery on her hand to reattach tendons in her fingers.

“It’s terrible. My mom was bleeding profusely from her hand,” Bright said. “My mom pretty much has to fend for her life. She almost gets her fingers ripped off just trying to save her dog,” she said.

The two women who stole the dog got away.

A week after the incident, Brown is still covered in bruises. Brown also said she suffered a traumatic brain injury five years ago, did years of speech therapy and the assault was making communication more challenging again.

Now she wants to spread the word about what happened and about hopes to get Popcorn back.

“I wanted her to have a nice home - not someone take her and be with people who are like this,” Brown said.

Tacoma police say if you have information on this case, give them a call.