Elderly woman reunited with stolen dog

November 11, 2010 8:19:56 PM PST
A Yorkshire terrier was returned to its owner Wednesday evening after being stolen during a purse snatch in Alameda.

Deuce is back home in Alameda -- much to the delight of 80-year-old Helen Bignone.

"I am so overwhelmed that he came back. He's just so, everything is just great" she said.

The 6-year-old Yorkie was stolen on Oct. 30 when Bignone was out for a walk near her home. She tried to hang onto the Yorkie's leash, but let go when one robber claimed to have a gun.

"You know, stealing purses is something we all hear about, but to take your dog," she said.

What the robbers didn't know is that Deuce has a microchip implanted under his skin. Alameda police identified the car used in the robbery, traced Bignone's stolen credit cards and arrested a 19-year-old suspect, who claimed he abandoned the little dog in a Stockton park.

A transient couple then found deuce and sold him for $20 to a woman, who called detectives.

"It wasn't until the afternoon before she called and she saw one of the news reports and sort of put two and two together," Lt. Sean Lynch from Alameda Police Department said. "We utilized the help of Stockton Animal Control to scan the chip and make sure the dog was in fact Deuce."

Not only is Deuce home safe from his 11-day adventure, but police also recovered Helen's purse.

"Purse doesn't even hold a candle to getting you back," Bignone said.

"They really picked the wrong grandma to rob of a purse and a dog, they really did." Bignone's granddaughter Stephanie Bignone said.

Before deuce was snatched, Bignone and the dog would go on long walks around the neighborhood, and now that they are reunited, they will continue to do so.


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