CORONA, Queens — Residents along 37th Avenue in Corona are still in disbelief after a beloved family dog was snatched right outside her home in broad daylight just before 8:30 a.m. last Friday.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect moments after she entered the fenced front yard where she grabbed the 2-year-old shih tzu named Chula before fleeing.
The suspect even flashed a smile for the security cameras outside the two-family home.
Chula’s owner Doris Campos was the last person to see her after letting her out to roam the front yard, like she does every morning.
“It hurts me a lot,” Campos told PIX11 News. “I lost part of my family, she was my daughter.”
The member of the family taking the theft the hardest is Campos’ 5-year-old son.
“She’s my son’s best friend, she’s been there since he was a baby too - since he was 2-years-old,” she said. “He’s more frustrated than I am.”
While Chula's owners remain hopeful, it's still a mystery why this woman - who has no ties to the family - would steal this dog in the first place.
According to Campos, in recent weeks a number of flyers for lost dogs have sprouted up across the neighborhood. It’s unclear if this latest dog snatching is linked to a bigger problem in the community, one which is described by residents as being safe for the most part.
“If she’s watching this or somebody who knows her is watching this – look I don’t want any problems I really don’t,” Campos said, relaying a message to the alleged thief. “I don’t want problems for me, for you. I just want my dog back.”