Distraught dog owner chases woman who took her cavoodle Winnie from outside a store – only for the dognapper to LAUGH in her face
A dog owner has spoken of her distress at discovering her puppy, Winnie, had been taken from outside a store by a woman who just laughed when confronted.
Sydney woman Lauren Sten took her two cavoodles, five-month-old Winnie and one-year-old Alfie, for a walk down to Woolworths at Bondi Beach on a Sunday morning before Christmas, where she tied them up while grocery shopping.
When she returned after ‘no more than five minutes’, Winnie was gone.
‘I was distraught, completely distraught to walk out and see one lead on the ground and just one dog sitting there,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I was distraught, completely distraught to walk out and see one lead on the ground and just one dog sitting there,’ Ms Sten (pictured) said
Ms Sten frantically started asking people around her if they’d seen anyone take her dog.
One woman, who ‘looked suspect’, told her she hadn’t seen anything.
When a passerby told her he saw the girl’s friend pick the dog up and walk away with it, Ms Sten panicked.
‘I threw my shopping down and ran, leaving Alfie still tied up,’ she said.
Ms Sten said she sprinted down the road towards the woman described to her.
‘I said “that’s my dog” and snatched it off her,’ she said.
When Ms Sten confronted the thief, she said the woman laughed in her face.
‘She just laughed, she didn’t run away, didn’t look like she even cared,’ she said.
Ms Sten tied her two cavoodles up outside Woolworths (pictured) at Bondi Beach where there were dog bowls provided but discovered one missing on her return
When Ms Sten walked out of Woolworths she discovered one of her cavoodles (stock) was missing
‘Word of advice, don’t ever leave your dog tied up at the front of Woolworths, Bondi Beach. Just had my dog taken, lucky for me a woman who knew what the girl was wearing so I could chase her. Please be careful if you have dogs!’ Ms Sten wrote online
The distraught dog owner said she didn’t know how to react to the woman’s ‘strange’ laughter.
‘I couldn’t yell at her, I couldn’t do anything, I was just so stunned,’ she said.
When she had Winnie safely in her arms, Ms Sten’s attention turned to her other dog, Alfie, who was still tied up outside Woolworths.
She feared Alfie could be taken by the other girl, who she believed was working together with the kidnapper.
She was relieved to find him still there.
When Ms Sten tried to leave with her two dogs, the woman who stole Winnie followed her and started to abuse her on the street.
‘She started accusing me of abandoning my dog,’ she said.
The Bondi local said she was lucky there were a lot of people around who stepped in to help.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia on Monday, Ms Sten (pictured) said it was ‘just luck’ she managed to go home with two dogs that day
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, Ms Sten said it was ‘just luck’ she managed to go home with two dogs that day.
‘If it weren’t for the bystander who saw it, I wouldn’t have been so lucky,’ she said.
While her dogs were ‘distressed’, Ms Sten said she was beside herself.
‘Who knows what the woman wanted with her, whether it was to re-sell her or something else,’ she said.
Ms Sten was so distressed by the incident she did not want to share pictures of her dogs, for fear they might be recognised on the street.
When Ms Sten shared her story online, she was inundated with similar stories from people who also had their dogs taken in the prestigious eastern Sydney suburb.
‘Someone took my pooch from Bondi Junction. I found her around the corner, the woman said he was thirsty or something equally invalid,’ one woman said.
‘There’s one lady who’s been caught several times by police stealing dogs,’ another said.
‘It happens all the time at Bondi.’
New South Wales Police confirmed the incident was reported, and said they were investigating CCTV footage.