Video shows stolen doggy day care van was left running, unlocked

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police released surveillance video Thursday night that they say shows two men stealing an unattended doggie day care van with seven dogs inside. From the video, it appears the crime wasn't hard to pull off.

On Wednesday night, police were told the van was stolen at gunpoint, but in the new video, there's no sign of a gun. The video shows two men approaching the van - left running and unlocked - and driving off.

RAW VIDEO: Doggy day care van left running, unlocked


You can't see it on the tape, but police say after the men drove off, one pointed a gun at a witness who tried to intervene. And while it was first reported that the van was stolen from a busy intersection, the video shows the van was actually stolen in the 800-block of W. Superior outside Urban Out Sitters, the pet care company that owns the van.

The van turned up on the Near South Side around 10:45 a.m. Thursday. The seven dogs that spent the night in the stolen van are OK and back home with their owners.

Mochi, Scarlet, Brad Pitt, Jadyn, Busy, Kayla and one other unidentified dog belonging to six owners were taken Wednesday afternoon when two offenders stole the doggy day care van they were in at gunpoint in the River West neighborhood.

PHOTOS: Van stolen with dogs inside


Daisy Bowers noticed the parked van with a dog at the wheel in the 2100-block of South Wabash on Thursday morning. She called police.

"I didn't hear the dogs. I saw the dogs. I saw him moving around. He was looking out the window, like, somebody come get me. Somebody help me. After about an hour, I just decided to call 9-1-1," Bowers said.

Word that the dogs had been found spread over the phone, texts and social media. Owners had feared for the dogs' health given the record low temperatures.

"I was afraid that she wouldn't make it through the night. I'm just so grateful," Tad Tomita, Mochi's owner, said.

"Just so happy. Really. Happy doesn't even describe how I feel. I was shaking with just such energy," Erin Broderick, Busy's owner, said.

"I am ecstatic. I'm so glad that everybody is OK. That even the little dogs made it. That's the best thing," Laura Potts, Kayla's owner said. "There really aren't any words to describe how good this is. The emotional roller coaster. The anger and frustration that somebody would steal a van full of dogs and point a gun at a decent person. The humanity that at least they were found. They didn't hurt them. And we're all getting our dogs back. So there's still good in the world."

RAW VIDEO: Watch Potts reunited with dog, Kayla


Urban Out Sitters, the company's van that was stolen, had offered a reward in the case.

"I'm in the best possible spirit. The hardest part for me was not knowing. The fear of the unknown. Not knowing if those dogs were frozen," Joseph Giannini said.

Police continue to investigate.

RAW VIDEO: Watch the moment stolen dogs are rescued


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