LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Two businesses are now offering rewards for information on two separate thefts involving puppies, and there is now reason to believe the same suspects may have been involved in both crimes.
Jessica Hilliard is a manager at “Your New Puppy,” a shop in Liberty Township. She said when she was working on Wednesday, a group of five people came in, and nothing seemed unusual.
“No red flags," Hilliard said. "It was very well thought out.”
Hilliard said that the group came in to check out a litter of french bulldogs. They picked out a pair of pups, said they wanted to buy them and then used a card to make the purchase.
“It looked just like a debit card, says MasterCard at the top, says debit at the bottom," Hilliard said. "It runs through just like a normal card.”
However, Hilliard said that minutes later: “Things just weren’t adding up, and we contacted the terminal company, that’s when we realized nothing actually went into our system.”
The people had not actually paid anything, Hilliard says, but it was already too late to stop them because they had signed the receipt and left with the two puppies in tow.
“I was more shocked than anything else," Jayde Tyler, an employee, said.
The owner says he alerted the Butler County Sheriff’s Office. A few days later, he said he learned that the same suspects had likely struck again.
“Fetch Puppies,” a business in Beavercreek, Ohio, near Dayton, reported that two people came into their shop and then took off running with two of their french bulldogs on Saturday.
Employees at both stores have expressed that they are worried about the dogs’ safety since they do not know who they are with or exactly where they are currently located.
“It’s just kind of scary not knowing where they are," Hilliard said.
Social media posts show that Fetch is offering a $500 reward and Your New Puppy is offering a $1000 reward for information that leads to the prosecution of the suspects and to the return of the puppies.
“I would love to just have the dogs back, and I would also love to just get justice in general, so it doesn’t happen again," Hilliard said.
Employees at Your New Puppy said they followed all protocols when making the sale, but in this rare case, the suspects slipped through the system, so they are now even more cautious.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office has not released more information on the reported theft.