SAN DIEGO — A Utah family was reunited with their dog Friday after it was stolen last week while they were on vacation in San Diego.
Around 4 a.m. on Aug. 2, the Grillo family noticed that their mini goldendoodle, Chancho, was missing from his crate while the family was in their tent at Campland by the Bay, a news release from San Diego Police Department said.
The family from Utah County searched the surrounding area for Chancho and reviewed surveillance footage, which appeared to show a man walking away with their dog on a leash around 2:30 a.m., Lt. Adam Sharki said.
After investigating and reviewing footage, SDPD detectives were able to locate Chancho Thursday and identify the man suspected of stealing the dog, Sharki said. Johnny Smith, 40, was arrested by police in National City and faces felony theft charges.
After retrieving Chancho, SDPD officials notified the Grillo family, who drove through the night back to San Diego to be reunited with their stolen pup, Sharki said.
Friday morning, the Grillo family arrived at SDPD’s Northern Division office in La Jolla, where Chancho was transferred back to the family’s care.
“It really did feel like we lost a part of our family,” Hannah Grillo told FOX 5. “It felt like we had a big hole in us. Now that we’ve been reunited, we just feel so grateful, so ecstatic and overwhelmed. We feel very lucky and have a million tips for dog owners.”
Jacqueline Sarkissian contributed to this story.