CAUGHT ON CAM: Dog stolen, ransom requested from owners

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 9:09 PM EDT
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LANDOVER, Md. (WJLA) – Raquel Witherspoon and her 12-year-old daughter love their little yorkie dog, Avery.

“He’s a family member, he’s my grandson and he’s her [daughter’s] son, and we had him for three years,” Witherspoon said. “He means the world to us.”

Witherspoon said she never imagined she’d become the latest victim in what seems to be a surge in dog thefts, but when Avery vanished Saturday night, she checked her doorbell camera.

The cam caught a woman with distinctive red hair coming right onto her porch, tossing treats to the skittish little dog, and then walking away with the dog along with a backpack-wearing accomplice.

“I can’t sleep. … Avery is out there, we just don’t know,” Witherspoon said.

Witherspoon said she filed a police report, but said the officer told her there was nothing they could do, so she put up fliers. Soon after, she got a series of threatening, profane texts from someone claiming to have the dog.

The person sent a video of Avery in a cage, and Witherspoon agreed to pay a ransom to get the dog back. Witherspoon said the caller then hung up the phone and never called back.

She made sure to get the word out and made sure Prince Georges County Police Department was aware of the crime and all the video evidence. A detective immediately responded.

Witherspoon said she hopes someone knows who the dognapper is and that they will call police.

“I want Avery back,” she said. “I want Avery back, and she needs to deal with what she did.”

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