Who is stealing the dogs of Brooklyn?

The Brooklyn Paper
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Who snatched Matsu?

A playful little Yorkshire Terrier was dognapped while waiting for his master outside a Fort Greene deli last Friday — one of three known pooch thefts in the area in the past five weeks.

Joan Hong — who is now offering a $1,000 reward for her dog’s return — said her boyfriend tied up the pup outside Hanson’s Gourmet Deli on Hanson Place at 11 pm.

He came back a few minutes later and discovered only a leash tied to a pole — no Matsu in sight.

“It’s heartbreak­ing,” she said. “It doesn’t even seem real; it keeps hitting me in waves.”

Matsu — who’s black and tan with a stocky build — could not have freed himself, Hong said. It was obvious that someone had undone his harness.

The frantic couple hopped on bicycles and posted dozens of “missing dog” fliers around the neighborhood. They later took to the Internet, posting ads on Craigslist to no avail.

The apparent dognapping comes exactly one week after a white terrier named Winston was stolen — from a cop, no less — by a trio of out-of-towners in Prospect Heights.

In an equally bizarre case, thieves smashed the window of a woman’s apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, took a diamond ring, a laptop and her 7-year-old Yorkie named Boots on July 7.

“It’s like stealing a part of the family,” said Eleanor Almeida, Boots’s human companion. “We’re still praying he comes back safely.”

Snatching dogs is nothing new — especially small expensive breeds that are easily flipped on the black market — according to the American Kennel Club. In fact, the group notes that stolen pet reports have skyrocketed — from 150 to 224 — in the city in the past year.

Tony neighborhoods are not immune, according to groomers at the upscale shop Pup Slope in Park Slope, noting that the shop’s bulletin board has seen a slew of stolen and missing pet signs this summer.

“Yorkies are very popular and worth quite a bit of money,” said the worker, who asked not to be named. “It’s just like any possession.”

Even so, a spokesman for the NYPD said dog theft is rare. “Has it happened before? Yes,” he said. “Is it widespread? No way.”

In this case, a suspect could be charged with petit larceny — Matsu cost $900 — although the crime is emotionally on par with a kidnapping.

Indeed, Hong said she and her boyfriend James Reinholt consider the pooch their kid. “He’s the reason I wake up in the morning,” she said.

Reinholt — who wore a deep crease between his eyebrows while posting fliers on Tuesday — was more blunt.

“Just give us our freakin’ dog back,” he said. “It’s not fair.”

Anyone with information about Matsu is asked to call (917) 587-1276.

Updated 5:25 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Martina from Brooklyn Heights says:
Hey Reinholt, what is NOT fair is leaving your dog tied up all alone and vulnerable while you're freaking shopping!!!
It is so sad-when you people are going to get it?? Don't leave your dog unattended!
Aug. 17, 2011, 9:11 am
John from NJ says:
NO, it is not required that you take your dog everywhere. I would never leave my dog tied up to a lampost. You run errands, you walk your dog. Two separate activities.
Aug. 17, 2011, 9:34 am
Jess from Boerum Hill says:
Totally agree with the above comments. While these people don't deserve to have their dog stolen, it's tremendously unwise to leave a dog 'who is like their kid' tied to a lamppost, unattended. Would you leave a child like that? No.
Stop tying up your dogs outside.
Aug. 17, 2011, 10:18 am
mike says:
i dont want to scare anyone but dogs have been known to be stolen for fighting dogs feed.
Aug. 17, 2011, 10:51 am
joan from fort greene says:
one of the main reasons why i asked to have this story published was to scream to the world, "DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG UNATTENDED!!!!!!".

all we are asking for now is for the community to keep an eye out for Matsu and help him find his way back home.

Aug. 17, 2011, 11:40 am
BED & BISCUIT from Brooklyn says:
It is so sad and so preventable. I've been warning people for years not to leave their dogs tied up alone even for a second and have been told to mind my own business. People think it won't happen to them, but it can and just might. The horror of never knowing what fate your dog met will linger your entire life. Is that worth a few minutes of convenience? Don't do anything to your dog that you wouldn't do to your baby!
Aug. 17, 2011, 12:21 pm
Cobble HIll from Clinton Hill says:
There's a rumored Dog Fighting establishment at Grand Ave @ Putnam/

And yes - don't leave your dogs unattended. If they are "part of the family" then treat them like it.
Aug. 17, 2011, 12:49 pm
joan from fort greene says:
please keep warning people and use this sad story as an example!

that said, we have not given up looking for him, so i don't want to believe his fate of not returning has been sealed.

i am desperately reaching out to all dog lovers in our community for support to bring him back.
Aug. 17, 2011, 12:56 pm
Orney from Formerly fromB'klyn says:
Jess from Boerum Hill, Believe it or not..Before Supermarkets replaced small food shops in the 30's & 40's you would see dozens of babies in carriages outside the shops while the mothers were waiting their turn inside. I sat in one myself. So has the world become better or worse?
Aug. 17, 2011, 1:49 pm
Not Sarcastic says:
Yep, those Yorkies are definitely being stolen for dog fights. You know how big and strong yorkies are.
Aug. 17, 2011, 2:15 pm
@ not sarcastic says:
its so they can rip the dag apart for blood, not to actually fight.
fact !unfortunatly
Aug. 17, 2011, 2:55 pm
Jenny from South Slope says:
Joan, I hope you get your dog back. Maybe offer a reward? If all attempts fail, remember you can still save the life of a shelter dog--one who may be lost and was once someone else's pet. And let's show some sympathy, folks. These owners have obviously learned their lesson.
Aug. 17, 2011, 3:08 pm
nick from brooklyn heights says:
highly unlikely. yorkies are far more valuable to keep alive if they are pure bred. stop trying to scare people.
Aug. 17, 2011, 3:09 pm
Joe from Downtown says:
Hopefully the dog was micro-chipped. I feel bad for the couple but why leave a dog unattended. If I have to run an errand with my dog I go where I know dogs are welcome. Most places usually let you in if its a small dog you can carry.
Aug. 17, 2011, 3:48 pm
MD from Downtown says:
Microchipping only works if the dog is returned to a vet or the pound. It's not like a gps sensor, unfortunately.
Aug. 17, 2011, 4:08 pm
mike viehl from bensonhurst says:
i take my dog nto all stores,she is a mini poodle and i would never leave her outside where i couldnt watch her.if i am told i cant take her in i leave.
its sad,i know the feeling,my dog ran away one time when she was a puppy and i was heartbroken,she re appeared like a miracle at 4 am
good luck
Aug. 17, 2011, 4:27 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
I like dogs, I just can't eat a whole one anymore. ..
Aug. 18, 2011, 7:46 am
Monica McLaughlin from Manhattan says:
Bait dogs are big dogs that got game -- will put up a fight. Yorkies are not being stolen and used as bait dogs. That would be akin to a professional boxer using a 6 year old child to spar with. Also, dog fighters do not want to bring heat on themselves. They are not going to steal pets and create a firestorm of cops down on their heads. Believe me, there is no shortage of bait dogs in the world. Very sad, but true.

The cops in the case of Winston, the Westie are lying. They probably shot the dog after it peed in their car. Their story is absolutely lame.

The Yorkies owners need to raise the reward money. Offer $2,000 then $3,000 and so on. Someone knows where this dog is and when the money gets high enough, will start to sing.
Aug. 18, 2011, 10:46 am
Nancy from Queens says:
agree with everyone. i see people tie their dogs up often and it just infuriates me. i usually stay and dogsit until the owner shows up. i'm chicken and don't say anything. i assume i'll get attitude since they are idiots. but these dogs are suffering due to their irreponsibililty and then they cry boo hoo i miss my dog. yes, offer thousands in reward $.
Aug. 18, 2011, 12:55 pm
TCC from NYC says:
The problem in NYC is the same. Many dogs are stolen when tied up outside a home and sold to class b laboratories for $10 each. Small dogs are also taken for dog fighting bait. I stand with dogs who are tied up outside stores till owners return. Some don't know and some just think it won't happen to them. It's a shame as it's the dog that will ultimately suffer the horror.
Aug. 18, 2011, 12:57 pm
annie from queens says:
Its nice see we live in a world where people can't wait to be judgmental. Don't you think these people are suffering enough? How many of you have never made a mistake? Your just lucky that your mistakes did not end in such a sad sad way. What happened to the days when neighbors helped each other rather than judge? My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Aug. 19, 2011, 12:06 pm
benti from heights says:
I sad that this happened to you guys, very sad but would tie up your child outside the deli...think man think! Take the dog for a walk and then go shopping. A little more work but think about all the suffering the pup is going through not to mention you...

Aug. 21, 2011, 11:41 am
Monica from UES says:
Who is stealing the dogs of Brooklyn? Well in the case of Winston, the Westie, it was the POLICE!!!! But first the good news--Winston is home with his humans who never stopped looking and never gave up hope. The 77th precinct officer who had Winston stood out in front of the station house offering Winston to anyone who would take him. In the middle of the night. After promising to take him to Sean Casey rescue who was waiting for him!!!
Sept. 12, 2011, 7:23 pm
Rhio2k from Tampa says:
The couple in the article are ADULTS. How sheltered are they that they need to learn this lesson the hard way? Being a yuppie is a cruel freedom. You're insulated from learning valuable lessons you SHOULD have learned or been taught as a child. Now you have to make those mistakes when the penalty is more than just some slaps on the butt from mommy and daddy, and remain almost criminally naive well into adulthood. Sucks about their dog but they rally should have known better. Even a street-smart teenager would have gone "No, somebody might steal my dog if I leave him here!", and made a better choice...such as leaving the dog at home in the first place.
Jan. 20, 2012, 6:27 am
olga from battery park says:
Left my dog ( no breed) for 3 min right by deli which is in the building where I live next to the entrance with concierge. 2 women were trying to steal HER. If I was 1 min late would never see my dog again . SHOCKING!!! Will never ever leave her anywhere! BEWARE
Aug. 30, 2012, 2:40 am

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