A small and fluffy Pomeranian mix dog taken Christmas Eve is back with its owner, police said Wednesday.
Nassau police had said the Pomeranian was stolen after being tied up on a leash outside a business in Lakeview on Dec. 24.
After parking on Woodfield Road, the thief put the dog in the passenger seat of a black BMW SUV and drove north, police said in a news release.
The Pomeranian's owner called the police after he found his dog missing at about 12:59 p.m.
Long Island has seen a spate of dog thefts.
In late November, two French bulldogs were taken — both returned to their owners, thanks to Good Samaritans. Small dogs are more likely to be stolen, experts say, especially valuable ones.
Purebred Pomeranian puppies can fetch anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars, according to breeders' and experts' websites.
Up to 2 million dogs are stolen per year, according to a pre-pandemic estimate by petfinder.com, and only 10% are recovered.
It is too early in the dog theft investigations, police say, to determine whether they are connected.
Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a spokesman for the Nassau County Police Department, previously said that as of earlier this month two dogs had been reported stolen in 2021, one in 2020 and seven in 2019.
With Matthew Chayes