'I paid a ransom': Man pays $1000 to get dog back after smash and grab in SF

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog was stolen from inside a parked vehicle Friday night.

Twenty-four hours ago the prospects of getting Holly back, according to its owner, seemed almost impossible.

Today Dave Ford paid $1000 to a stranger that handed him his dog in a duffle bag.

"Right here. We turned the corner and he was walking up and he had a bag and he said 'I got her,'" said Ford.

Inside the duffle bag was 3-year-old Holly.

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The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel had been taken from inside Ford's vehicle around 10:30 pm Friday. The car was parked around Bush and Larkin streets in San Francisco's Tenderloin District.

"Windows get smashed when computers get left in there, phones get left in there and it sucks but that's kind of how it is in San Francisco now. But, a dog that's crossing the line," said Ford.

On Larkin street, glass from the smash and gab still on the ground, reminding him of one of the worst days of his life.

"I cried a lot this morning. You know it's like having a kid taken," said Ford.

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Dave Ford and his girlfriend Kira Anderson filed a police report and got to work. They printed out 1,000 flyers. Some were stapled on trees others handed to residents in the area.

"People started saying like 'just keep handing them out in these alleys someone knows where she is.' Everybody kept saying 'someone knows something, we'll call you, we'll show this around,'" said Anderson.

Family friends drove from Marin County to help find Holly and one of them even envisioned this moment.

"I had a dream that we found a dog and we were in a group of people as simple as that and here we are," said Charles Codoni.

Around 2:30 pm Saturday, Ford got a call from a stranger who asked him for $1000 in exchange for his dog.

The meeting spot was an alley on Fern Street in San Francisco's Tenderloin district.

"Yes, she (Holly) was kidnapped and I paid a ransom," said Ford.

RELATED: Proposal would reimburse San Francisco car break-in victims for shattered windows

Now Dave Ford hopes this experience will teach other dog owners that during a smash and grab not even dogs are off-limits.

"It's getting to the point where dogs are being taken out of cars and windows are being broken for someone's pet. Nothing can be left in a car," said Ford.

San Francisco's District Attorney is proposing a new idea that could possibly be a first-of-its-kind in the country: reimbursing victims of car break-ins for the cost of their broken glass.

But what about when you pay to get your dog back? This might be a first.
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