ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Two designer dogs - a Havanese and a Shih Tzu poodle - were stolen from an Arlington Heights pet store.
The dogs, which each weigh just under 3 pounds, are valued at more than $2,000.
A $1,000 reward has been offered for information leading to the safe return of the puppies. There's concern about their health because of their tender age.
The dogs were snatched at about 6 p.m. Monday from the Happiness is Pets Store on West Golf Road.
Store manager Krystina Agliata said she is "appalled" by the theft.
"Super confused on how someone would feel like that's okay. I couldn't live with myself even if I stole a pen from a store," said Agliata.
A man and woman, both in their early 20s, were suspected in connection, police said Tuesday.
The pair came into the store on Monday and told the clerk that they were interested in buying a dog. As they were playing with one of the dogs in the pen, they asked to see a second dog. While in the pen, one of the dogs defecated. The clerk moved the couple and the dogs to a different pen and left them alone to retrieve a mop. When she returned, the man, woman and dogs were gone.
"Even before we got a chance to take a license plate number or even see what was going on, they were just gone," said Agliata.
While the dogs are worth thousands' of dollars, workers at the store said they are just concerned about the dogs' well being.
"They're babies. A lot of things can affect them in a negative or positive way," said Agliata. "If they're not being fed a certain food or being kept up with their medical, it's not a really good road for them."
The manager said the dogs are microchipped and there are surveillance cameras inside the store. The owner, who's out of town, will be retrieving that video soon.
Anyone with information is asked to call 847-368-5300. Anonymous tips can be submitted via text (keyword: 847AHPD to 847411) or by calling the Arlington Heights Crime Stoppers at 847-590-7867. Callers may qualify for a $1,000 reward, police said.