FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (PIX11) — A Brooklyn woman was reunited with her dog on Tuesday after an Uber Eats driver allegedly walked off with the pup over the weekend.
Melanie Polanco said a man returned Ella, a 6-month-old cocker spaniel poodle mix, but that he wasn’t the man who took her beloved puppy. A man was taken into police custody on Tuesday, but released after it was determined he had nothing to do with Ella’s dognapping.
“Justice will be served but for now I am so happy Ella is back home,” Polanco wrote in a Facebook post.
After PIX11 News interviewed Polanco, a man who identified himself as Michael called her, she said. The man said he thought Ella was lost and claimed he gave her to another woman in the building.
But surveillance video reviewed by PIX11 shows a man get into the elevator with the pup, leave the building, dog in his arms, and get into a car to drive off. When Polanco confronted “Michael” about the video, he changed his story, she said. He told her he gave Ella to another man and that he was going to have that man bring the dog back.
Then he asked for the reward money, she said. Polanco called a detective, who arrived quickly. Police were there when a man showed up with Ella around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. The men claimed “Michael” paid him to bring the dog back.
Polanco said her Uber Eats driver took Ella after dropping off a pizza on Saturday. She didn’t realize Ella was missing right away; Polanco thought the pup was in another room. Then Polanco realized Ella got out when she opened the door for her pizza.
“I was crying. I was devastated; she’s gone. I couldn’t eat or sleep that night,” she said. “She’s probably scared, alone.”
Polanco spoke to PIX11 News again Tuesday, recounting the bizarre series of events.
“The detectives did get in contact with ‘Michael,’ and they gave him until Friday to turn himself in,” she said.
As for how Uber handled the theft, Polanco said the experience was “terrible.” The company even went as far as to block Polanco’s brother on the platform because he was asking for information.