MINEOLA, N.Y. (PIX11) — A fleeing Long Island auto thief tried to throw the owner’s small dog out of the vehicle, but instead dragged it along the road, leaving the pooch seriously injured, police said late Tuesday in an appeal for help closing the case.

The theft occurred at the BP gas station on Jericho Turnpike near Maple Place in Mineola around 2:45 p.m. Monday, as the owner of the 2020 white Range Rover was filling up, officials said.

As the owner, 60, was standing outside her SUV, a man opened the front driver’s side door, got behind the wheel, and took off, according to authorities. Still inside the vehicle, nestled in the owner’s handbag, was the victim’s 1-year-old Cavachon dog, police said.

The thief tried to toss the dog from the SUV near Jericho Turnpike and Mineola Boulevard, but its collar got caught and the dog was instead dragged along the road for some distance before it finally got free, officials said.

A passerby called 911 and tended to the dog, which was eventually taken to a nearby veterinary hospital and treated for serious injuries, according to authorities.

The stolen Range Rover was later found parked on North Walnut Street near Parkway Drive in East Orange, New Jersey, police said. 

The thief, however, remained at large as of early Wednesday. He wore a black ski mask obscuring his face, but was described by investigators as having a thin build. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie, gray sweatpants, sneakers, and black gloves.

Detectives ask that anyone with information regarding the incident contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.