Oklahoma Watches and Warnings

Caught on camera: Thief snatches New York family’s dog on Easter Sunday

NEW YORK — A Brooklyn family is pleading for the safe return of their beloved dog.

Oz, a 2-year-old Alaskan Klee Kai, was swiped from the family's yard on Easter Sunday, and it was all caught on a surveillance camera.

"We love our dog very much, and we really want him back. He's a friendly dog and we’re all very attached to him,” Dr. Anatoly Bartov said.

The family is focusing on the safe return of their four-legged friend.

"He just pushes the gate, goes over there, grabs my dog," Bartov said, playing the surveillance video.

The video catches the suspect swiftly walking from the front of the house to the back gate and undoing the lock. The suspect was in the Bartov backyard for less than a minute before he walks out with Oz in tow.

"My reaction... I was in shock," Bartov said. "This was planned. Somebody came the night before. A man came the night before to look at our gate, to make sure this is the right house."

Oz may be the family pet but more so he is "girl’s best friend" for Bartov’s 3-year-old daughter.

"The most humane thing to do is to bring the dog back to my child because my child is crying every single night," he said. "It takes 45 minutes to calm her down. She wakes up in the middle the night with nightmares. I can't see my daughter smile anymore because she does not have her best friend next to her."

Dr. Bartov said the thief seemed to know exactly what he was doing, swiping Oz while the family was out on Easter Sunday.

Since then, the busy dentist who runs his own practice has been spending the bulk of his time trying to find Oz. As difficult as that is, explaining the circumstances to a child is much harder.

“In the beginning, we told her he went on a long walk. Someone else has him. We sent him to neighbors, to friends. How much more can we tell our daughter?" Bartov said. “She saw the surveillance. We were watching it and she pointed to the man and said, 'that’s my dog, who is taking my dog?'"

Oz is an expensive breed of dog, and Bartov fears that was the motive. He said he thinks the suspects might be trying to sell the dog, a family member more than just a pet in his eyes.

“Anyone who can help us find them and help us convict him, there will be a $5,000 reward," Bartov said.

The Bartovs have filed a police report but they said they simply want Oz back, no questions asked.

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