Luca the Dachshund Returned to Owner, After Being Sold

A dachshund named Luca who was swiped from outside a market on Broadway between 107th and 108th Street this week has been returned to her owner, a Columbia professor.

The 24th precinct Tweeted an image of the owner, the dog and several officers on Wednesday night. Deputy Inspector Naoki Yaguchi, commander of the 24th precinct, tells us the dog was sold, and the buyer returned it — but the original thief is still at large.

“The owners received information that the person who took the dog was seen uptown in the area of West 140 St. & Broadway. Our detectives went up there and conducted an investigation and were able to find out who the dog was sold to. The buyer returned the dog to our detectives who brought him back to the owner. The suspect is still outstanding.”

Here’s a video of the man taking the dog:


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NEWS | 49 comments | permalink
    1. Pennypup says:

      So happy to hear this! Was so worried about little Luca. Hope that dog thief now faces appropriate consequences. This incident is a good reminder for dog owners: never tempt fate by leaving your pup alone outside, not even for a minute. Even a big breed could be led away with a sufficiently yummy treat.

    2. Sarah says:

      Oh, thank goodness. Stay safe, Luca!

    3. John P says:

      We needed this happy ending to finish off 2020

    4. Laura L Downs says:

      Hooray, Luca the wonder-dog is home in time for New Years! Brava, Vicky!

    5. Diane says:

      Finally! Some good news to end 2020!

    6. James Brummel says:

      It should be illegal to tie your dog unattended.
      A) it’s cruel
      B) it’s a threat to others
      C) this rule will create a sidewalk dog sitting opportunity. you tie your dog, dog sitter monitors dog, you tip dog sitter. If I was a teen or retired or whatever I would do it. They can where a smock or hat or something.

      • Joanne says:

        There is nothing cruel about leaving a dog tied outside while you run inside a store to run an errand for a few minutes. Assuming of course: 1) that the dog is not aggressive; 2) there is ample space for pedestrians can keep a distance; and 3) the weather is ok.

        • Carlos says:

          If you are going to a store where you know that your dog won’t be allowed inside, leave the dog home rather than taking it along and tying it up outside. It isn’t that hard.

          People compare their pets to children. Would you leave your child sitting outside a store with the stroller loosely tied to a post?

          I’m very glad this person got their dog back and I am horrified that someone would steal a dog, but this could have easily been avoided.

        • Janice says:

          It is cruel because there’s a big chance that dog will be stolen and some are sold into dog fighting and worse. It happens all the time.

          If you have a dog and have to run into a store, bring your dog home first and then go shopping. It’s not a big deal.

        • Donna says:

          You are so wrong!! Dogs stolen from outside are generally used for bait in dog fights plus dogs get anxious when left outside. It should be made illegal!!

        • Neighbor says:

          Well, in this case, leaving the dog tied up resulted in a lot of police time that could have been used for better activities, not to mention worry on the part of the owners. I hope they did give the $1000 reward to the person who bought and returned Luca.

      • Charles says:

        It’s not cruel. It’s just unbelievably dumb.

      • Robin says:

        Great idea about dog sitters! They could issue little tickets (if they’re like me, they won’t remember whose dog is whose), like checking your coat at a restaurant. A kid with a patch outside Zabar’s could rake it in.

    7. Elizabeth says:

      Thank goodness. I’m so relieved for Luca and his family. What a scary experience.

    8. nemo paradise says:

      Police have arrested a collie, two beagles and a cockatoo (believed to be the ringleader) in connection with the kidnaping.

      • Charly says:

        You print this comment which manages to both mock the extremely unwise tying up of a dog and the stealing of dog, but yet won’t print either of two I wrote about dogs being at the mercy of their owners’ living conditions? I don’t get it and I don’t think the comment is funny at all.

    9. jimbo says:

      Great news.Thanks St Anthony.

    10. Ks says:

      What a dope—don’t people know by now there are cameras everywhere? It’s just so sinister to witness this guy actually doing this.

      • PTFLynn says:

        Agree with Ks, but in this case, the mask the kidnapper is wearing will probably hinder the investigation, unless there is great facial recognition software available. That said, I am so happy that the Buyer returned the pup. I don’t know what I would do if anyone took one of my dogs. They really are our family.

    11. BF says:

      Any dog owner knows not to leave a dog tied outside a store

    12. Janice says:

      I’m so glad Luca was found but I really hope they find the creep who stole and sold him.

    13. Jim Demetrios says:

      These trusting people that leave their dogs unattended and go shopping need to realize there are low lifes out there that will steal your dog! I have a large Doberman Pincher and never leave her unattended.

    14. Karen says:

      So glad luca has been returned home. Beautiful doggy

    15. Don says:

      As a native NewYorker I have always know to NEVER EVER leave a dog unattended on a New York Street for any reason. This one was lucky, but they usually end up sold to laboratories that don’t ask questions. If you can’t walk your dog and make a separate trip to pick up your quart of milk, you shouldn’t have a dog!!!

    16. Good work, 24th Precinct detectives! Hope you were rewarded as you deserve to be. Happy New Year!

    17. Jane says:

      It will make sense if the perp is nabbed as a result of this surveillance video!

    18. Ellen Shell says:

      What a despicable person. I hope the authorities catch him. Shame on him.

    19. Brenda Starlet says:

      Part of this story is missing: who bought the dog; why he/she bought a dog from some guy on the street; how and why this person returned the dog. I’d love to think that Person X realized the dog was stolen and laid out some cash to be sure Luca was rescued from the thief and returned to his owner. If that’s the case, a reward might be in order.

    20. ILM says:

      I’m so happy Luca has been reunited with her owners. I had a long-haired dachshund; they’re precious companions. Happy New Year.

    21. Claudia Brown says:

      What a blessing that Luca could return to his home. I have seen the flyers and was so sad about what was obviously a robbery of a loved pet.

      Thank you to the Police.

      Happy New Year

    22. John Yiannacopoulos says:

      I can’t even watch this. I’m so grateful Luca was returned. Thank you to the amazing police detectives who did an amazing job. This needs to be a lesson once and for all for dog owners. Do not leave your dogs tied up. I will always sit with animal until their owner arrives but even so I’ve gotten nasty looks and mind your own business comments. Luca was lucky. Please let’s stop owners from this horrible outcome.

    23. Sue Llewellyb says:

      ENOUGH “awreddy”’ with the effing attitudes! Can we not simply REJOICE for Luca & his owner?! What better way to usher in a GOOD 2021?! (Of course the rapid arrest/conviction of the dognapper’d only add to our general satisfaction!)

    24. NPK says:

      I am so very glad that Luca was found and returned to her owner. I just hope they find the thief and prosecute him to the full extent of the law. Don’t EVER leave your dog outside a store. Happy ending though…..

    25. Susan says:

      Wow, a happy ending for both little Luca and his owner. Amazed at how this unfolded. Special thanks are in order for our great NYPD officers!

    26. Larry K says:

      Wonderful New Years for the dog’s owners. A Very very Joyful New Years to them and the person who recovered the dog. 👍👍👍🥂🥂🥂

    27. Camille says:

      Good boy, Luca. Good detective work, detectives. I love a dog story with a happy ending.

    28. shewrites says:

      So glad that Luca is home! I think a lot of people are too polite to take their dogs inside stores because of the “no dogs” signs. But there are very few stores that will turn people with their dogs away if the person is carrying the dog. I’ve learned by watching.

      • MaryC says:

        I am thrilled that Luca was returned!
        Not taking a dog into a good store is not being too polite, it’s obeying the law. Service animals are allowed but not pets. Store owners who allow pets inside face fines. Animals pose a health hazard in food stores and other customers may be allergic or fearful.
        Simple solutions are to leave your dog at home when you need to buy food,bring along a friend or family member or ask if you can have curbside service.
        Please don’t leave your precious dog outside and please don’t try to sneak them into the store either.

    29. k . l. says:

      Very glad doggie was returned to its rightful home….In times of eco hardship and holidays– and this is NOT a slam at its owner—Please: no one should risk leave any dog unattended in NYC for even 2 minutes….

    30. M ary says:

      Find that man and give him a good ass whipping then a couple of smacks upside the head maybe then
      He will learn the lesson you don’t touch or take what does NOT belong to you!! But that being said I’m happy to see her pet was returned to you.

    31. RKipniss says:

      A few years ago Shih Tzu was taken from outside Absolute Bagel under the exact same circumstances.

      As a native New Yorker, I assume everything I leave unattended will be stolen, and as such, I never leave my dog unattended.

      A happy ending for 2020.

      • Sharon Katz says:

        Actually, you are correct. I was, for 16 years, the Community Council President of the 20th Precinct, right below the 24th. Grand Larceny of Unattended Property was the number one crime on the upper west side for a very long time, and probably still is. You would be surprised. People leave their packages, laptops, even to get another coffee at Starbucks, and return to their seats to find it all … gone.

    32. Horace Beasley says:

      A wonderful restoration story for the beginning of a New Year. Happy New Year to all!

    33. Kalya says:

      What a relief to know that Luca is safely back with his family. I hope the thief is found and punished. Would never leave our dog tied up for even a minute.

    34. Lorene says:

      Thank God!!!!

    35. Richard says:

      at least it looks like the crook was kind to the dog, but he should be tarred and feathered and put in the stockade; at least . I wish this country was more dog friendly, like
      France or Germany and we wouldn’t have to leave our dogs outside when we shop.

    36. woody says:

      Every day dogs get stolen or are lost in the city. Is anything done for them or a story made about them? Nope. It couldn’t be because of the Columbia Professor status, right?