On Saturday, The Bakery on Bergen in Prospect Heights lost a charming piece of outdoor decor to a drunken thief, who apparently took a shine to one of the topiary hounds stationed outside and decided maybe she should have it. Security cameras caught the sticky-fingered bandit on tape, however, and now that the footage has made the rounds on social media, she is being tried in the court of public opinion.
In one of the videos, which came to our attention via Our BK Social, a woman wearing a long blue dress and sunglasses can be seen smoking a cigarette on a bench outside The Bakery. She looks to her left and eyes a leafy dog raising its ivied leg as if to pee on its fellow plants. This verdant fellow appears to interest her: The woman gets up, kicks the statue, picks it up, and then wanders away with it tucked under her arm.
Kim Vann, owner of The Bakery, didn't notice the theft in real time, but when her daughter went outside and discovered it had disappeared, she told Gothamist she remembered a strange young man who'd come in around 6 p.m. She rewound the security footage to roughly that time, and spotted her culprits: In another video (the second one here) of the theft Vann posted to Instagram, this suspicious guy sits beside the dog thief on a bench across from the bakery, laughing, and potentially plotting. He gets up to go in the store, and the woman moves to the bench directly outside. She casually knocks over the sculpture before her partner in crime goes inside. Then she makes her move.
Wanted Dog Thief. Swipe left. As many of you know I was blessed with a makeover by a major television show. I love what they did with my shop. One of my favorite pieces are my fake dogs that we bring in every night. There were 3 dogs Babatunde Dayquan, Peabody, and Ivy. Today this girl stole Peabody. As a native Brooklynite I’m trying to build my business in a community where I grew up and someone had the nerve to violate my shop like this. Please let me know if any of you recognize these people that have absolutely no respect for me, my business, my community and my Brooklyn. PLEASE share.
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Vann's friend, radio host Angela Yee, shared the videos on her Instagram as well. The dog thief then DMed both Vann and Yee to apologize. "I saw the video of me stupidly stealing your ivy dog," Vann's read. "Needless to say i feel horrible about it and will get it back to you/make it up to you. I cannot apologize enough and hope i can make it up to you. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, i did not think i was hurting anyone and i realize it was a dumb drunk thing to do."
Update on the earlier video of the stolen dog post *** and for anyone who thinks that stealing is ok and you should just let it go, hopefully when someone steals anything from you you still feel that way. Earlier this year a customer stole the tip jar from our juice bar, and while it wasn’t more than a few dollars it was the principle that matters. As a small business owner, and as a human being, every dollar you put into your business and every small decoration means a lot.
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Vann says that, having filed a police report on Saturday, she's letting the authorities take it from here. "On a micro level, it's taking a dog. On a macro level, it's disrespectful to my family, my daughter, my community, my borough, my business," Vann says. "You don't take somebody's property. We all live in this community together."
We reached out to the woman in the video for comment, and she told us (over an Instagram direct message): "The dog has been returned and it seems the bakery has gotten some much needed publicity from it and all is back where its supposed to be. I meant no ill will and unless the owner wants to reach out to me personally thats all i have to say. I reached out to the owner to make it right almost immediately and instead of responding made a marketing campaign out of it. Good for her. I wish the bakery all the success apologize for my actions and hope we can all move on from this."
As of this morning, Vann says the dog has not been returned.