Stolen Mother’s Day flowers leads to reunion between lost dog and owners after 2 years

Man left dog behind after running away from an H-E-B with stolen flowers, police said

LYTLE, Texas – What started as a crime ended with a sweet reunion on Mother’s Day.

Lytle Police responded to a theft at an H-E-B Sunday evening. The store’s manager told officers that a man left the store with a $15 flower arrangement and did not pay for them.

“Nothing says ‘I love you mom’ like stolen flowers,” said Lytle Police Chief Richard Priest.

When the man was confronted by the manager, he ran off and left his dog behind in a shopping cart, Priest said.

Animal control took custody of the small Shih Tzu, and when they checked the dog for a microchip ID, they found out that the dog had been missing from a Bexar County residence for two years.

The dog was released to its original owners who told KSAT that “Leela” disappeared from their property in Southwest Bexar County when she went out for a potty break in 2020. They looked for her for months but finally resigned that the dog was either taken by someone or eaten by a coyote.

“It’s the craziest thing in the world,” Mark and Belinda Gonzales said. “We never expected to see her again.”

“The dog isn’t facing any charges, as we can’t prove he engaged in the theft,” Priest joked. “Hopefully, the dog hasn’t been on (a) 2-year crime spree and picked up bad habits.”

Priest said they believe they have the identity of the suspect because he also went to animal control hoping to bring home the dog.

The suspect, who is in his 40s, is likely facing a Class C citation for theft, Priest said.

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About the Author

Julie Moreno has worked in local television news for more than 25 years. She came to KSAT as a news producer in 2000. After producing thousands of newscasts, she transitioned to the digital team in 2015. She writes on a wide variety of topics from breaking news to trending stories and manages KSAT’s daily digital content strategy.

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