Puppy Bandit Purse-Snatches Maltese From Pet Store [Surveillance Video]

Rockville, MD — A woman allegedly stuffed a tiny Maltese puppy in her purse and walked out of a pet store without paying for it.

The puppy bandit, described by store employees as very polite, was caught on store surveillance video just released by police (see embed below) but is still at large. The April 12 incident happened at “Just Puppies” in Rockville, Maryland.

The Maltese puppy has a selling price of $1,200, but the store has a reasonable try-before-you-buy policy: “The store has a policy of allowing prospective buyers to hold onto and play with puppies in a series of small enclosures to see if the animal and the human get along with each other.”

The suspected puppy thief told employees that she was very enamored by the Maltese but claim she needed her fiancee’s approval first. Like any other would-be buyer, she was permitted to play with the dog in one of the enclosures.

Instead, the 20-something woman — who police say has a distinctive tattoo of a Cheshire cat on the back of her neck — quietly bolted from the stall with the 10-week-old Maltese in her handbag.

Police added that they have as yet not identified a motive for the theft, i.e., whether the woman wanted the Maltese as her own pet or was planning to re-sell it. Cops are confident that the now-public video taken by the store security cameras will enable the shoplifting suspect’s arrest. In the meantime, the store is very concerned about the Maltese puppy’s well-being.

The store is considering asking potential customers to hand over their driver’s license before they can handle any of the puppies for sale from now on.

[Image credit: Paul]

Watch a Fox affiliate news video about the girl with the feline tattoo who allegedly stole a Maltese puppy from a pet store:

Watch the raw store security video of the alleged Maltese theft: