(KTVU) - San Francisco police are searching for a man who stole a dog from inside a Walgreens drug store. The dognapping was caught on video.
The surveillance video shows a man in a red shirt and camouflage-type pants approaching a dog inside the drug store at Divisadero and O'Farrell streets on March 11. He kneels down, pets it -- and then picks him up and walks right out of the store.
"The owner was in the store, picking up a few items. He turned around, and all of a sudden his dog was gone, and he couldn't find his dog, named Catfish," said Officer Giselle Talkoff, a San Francisco police spokeswoman.
Catfish is five years old. He's half Chihuahua, half poodle.
"So he went to the store manager, asked him for some assistance, and they were able to pull some surveillance video and found that a suspect had stolen the dog, and just walked out of the store with it," Talkoff said.
The pooch pilferer was last seen on O'Farrell street, with the dog in his arms.
Technically, dogs aren't allowed inside the drug store, and police don't think Catfish is a service dog.
It's not clear if Catfish had any tags or a microchip. The dog also wasn't on a leash.
"The dog was walking around freely," Talkoff said. "The owner often lets him do that."
KTVU asked if it was possible that the man in the video simply thought Catfish was a loose dog. But police say, he never went to talk to the store clerks. And there's been no report of anyone calling in to report a found dog.
Police are classifying this as property theft. For the owner, it's a far more emotional loss.
"Pets are close to people. They're often your best friend, your companion, keep you company,when you're in need and stuff, so this is obviously devastating to the dog owner," Talkoff said.
Anyone with information is asked to call San Francisco police Northern Station investigators at (415) 614-3400 or the anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444.