How sad that even our furbabies aren’t safe from fraud…
Two men facing charges in connection with dog theft
The man who was hailed a hero for returning a missing dog has now been charged with attempted fraud in the case.
Toronto police took two suspects into custody Tuesday in connection to the case which received massive media attention when the owner of the dog offered to pay $15,000 for the safe return of his pet.
Det. Rob Ermacora said two youths are also suspects in the case. At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, he warned them to turn themselves in.
“They know who they are, we know who they are and we encourage them to speak with their lawyers and turn themselves in,” he told reporters.
The dog owner, Bert Clark, was in Florida when he received news that the pooch had gone missing after it was securely tied to a pipe by a dogwalker who stepped into a bakery for a few minutes.
Clark immediately suspected the dog was taken and flew home right away to find Huckleberry, a chocolate-coloured lab he called his “best friend.”
Witnesses reported seeing two teens petting the dog right before it went missing.
On Sunday, Clark issued a public plea and postered the neighbourhood with offers of a reward. He received two calls asking him if he was serious about offering the money. When he said yes, the caller abruptly hung up.
The next day someone came forward and said his friend had found the dog tied to a park bench shivering. After waiting a few minutes to see if anyone would come to claim him, he took the dog into his home, Richard Cassibo said in an interview with CTV Toronto Monday.
When he heard the tale of the missing dog on the news, he immediately called police, he said.
Clark issued the reward money as promised and at Cassibo’s request, agreed to donate $5,000 to an animal hospital in the city.
Police in the meantime continued to investigate the alleged dognapping and brought in Cassibo and his friend, Andrew Footit, for questioning.
“Through our investigation, we determined (Cassibo) was involved with this offence,” Ermacora said, refusing to elaborate.
The detective also wouldn’t elaborate on the role the two youths allegedly played in the scheme.
Clark, who found out about the arrests Tuesday evening, “was surprised but happy it all worked out,” Ermacora said.
He was also able to retrieve the reward money.