HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- An emotional reunion between a Hayward woman and her beloved Yorkie is capturing hearts on social media. The memorable moment was made possible by the work of the Hayward Police Department.
Coco the Yorkie was allegedly taken from his home in South Hayward on February 8th after burglars ransacked the place and stole jewelry, as well as other items. The victim, Theresa Bautista, was devastated to learn her dog had also been stolen. But days later, a note left on her front lawn raised even more concern. Coco was alive, but the burglars allegedly demanded $20,000 in ransom for his return. Bautista went directly to Hayward Police with the new evidence.
"He was malnourished," said Hayward Police Detective Claudia Mau. "He wasn't being fed properly, the cage smelled... he wasn't being taken care of."
An investigation led detectives to Antonyo Todd, 41, and Carla Archuleta, 43. It turns out the two of them lived in the same neighborhood as the victim and targeted her knowing how close she was to Coco. Nearby residents were appalled to learn about the burglary.
"Knowing that somebody did something like this in this neighborhood... to ransom some dog, it's not right," said Hayward resident Jo Perez.
Todd and Archuleta have been charged with attempted extortion, conspiracy, and burglary. Coco and his owner recently reunited on Valentine's Day with the help of Detective Matt McMahon.
"We're here for the community and we work together as a team," said Mau. "Being able to make a difference in someone's life... you can't put words to describe that."
Yorkie returned to owner in Hayward after being held for ransom