Two six-week-old Yorkie puppies named Mimi and Mario, reportedly valued at $1,800 a piece, have been safely returned to their owner after being swiped from a shopping cart inside Bed Bath & Beyond on East 61st Street on Monday afternoon.
The rescue took place late Tuesday night, thanks to an anonymous tip posted to the Facebook page Lost and Found Pets in Brooklyn on Monday. An update posted to the page around 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday recounts the chain of events:
Someone who wishes to remain anonymous saw our post earlier today and sent us a private message with a strong lead. This led us to contact Rob of Guardians of Rescue... [organization member] Frank was able to locate the pups (though the couple was reluctant to relinquish them at first)—they turned them over.... The people who had the pups were not the couple who stole them. That information is being investigated.
According to a post on the Facebook page for Guardians of Rescue, a member of the Long Island-based organization went with owner Suzette Bonsignore to retrieve the puppies from a couple who had allegedly received them from the initial suspects:
[They] sat outside of a home waiting for the occupants to arrive for 8 hours. The home owner was working yesterday when a couple approached him and offered him two young Yorkie puppies. Knowing nothing of the theft just a few moments before, he accepted and happily brought them home to his wife. We are so thankful to have informed them of what happened and that they gladly handed over the babies. They are home and safe and warm with their owner tonight.
NBC reports that the man who handed over the puppies was a security guard, and was on shift Monday afternoon when two people approached him and asked if he wanted the puppies.
According to the NYPD, officers responded to a 911 call at the Bed Bath & Beyond near the corner of 61st Street and First Avenue shortly after 1:00 on Monday afternoon. Bonsignore said she had the puppies inside of her leather purse, which she had placed in the child seat of her shopping cart. She had her back turned when the suspect allegedly grabbed the bag and bolted from the store.
"The person who stole them must've thought it was a pocketbook, and they now find that there are two puppies in there," Bonsignore told NY1.
Bonsignore had reportedly help deliver the pups. "I cut the umbilical cord," she said. "I was every step of the way with them. I was handling them from the moment they were born."