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Denver family pleads for pup's safe return after thieves snatch dog from yard

Posted at 7:45 PM, Jan 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 11:52:44-05

DENVER — A heartbroken family is pleading for the safe return of their beloved pup after surveillance video shows thieves steal the 7-month-old shih tzu right from the family’s front yard.

Zoe was stolen Tuesday from Yoann Hispa and Jamie Gastell’s east Denver home in the Lowry neighborhood. 

A doorbell camera picked up the daylight dog heist. 

The video shows a leashed Zoe in the front yard as a black Chevy truck, hauling large metal pieces in the bed, pulls up and a man wearing a red hat and white boots hops out. 

In a matter of seconds, the male passenger snatches Zoe right off her leash and jumps back in the truck as the driver takes off at a high rate of speed. 

Hispa said he didn’t see what happened. He was inside the home working at his desk at the time Zoe was stolen.

"I mean, it just happened so fast. And then they were gone with screaming tires," said Hispa.

Neighbor Russ Green was in his yard across the street when the thieves struck.

“It took a minute to kind of register. It's like, ‘what are they doing?’" said Green, who tried to grab a plate number from the speeding truck but was unsuccessful.

Hispa said he had a bizarre encounter with a woman just days before Zoe was stolen.

“She came about 10 to 15 times at least, and she was really strange and checking on the dog," explained Hispa. "I confronted her and said, ‘hey, that's not OK what you're doing.’"

Hispa and Gastell said Zoe means a lot to the family and plead for her safe return. 

“She is absolutely the best dog I've ever been around," said Gastell, who posted the now viral video on Facebook. “This is our dog. This is our family member. We have emotional connections."

Denver Police are investigating.