A Yorkshire terrier was returned to its owner Wednesday evening after being stolen during a purse snatch in Alameda nearly two weeks ago, a police lieutenant said today.The 6-year-old male purebred named “Deuce” was stolen at about 2 p.m. on Oct. 30 when two men approached the dog’s 80-year-old owner as she was walking near Encinal Avenue and Fountain Street, Alameda police Lt. Sean Lynch said.One man simulated a gun and demanded the woman’s purse and the dog. She refused to hand them over, so one suspect grabbed Deuce as the other wrested the purse from her.Christopher Perkins, 19, was arrested Nov. 4 and initially said he sold the dog to someone in the Stockton area, but later changed his story, saying he released or gave away the dog in the area of Holiday Park in Stockton on the evening of Nov. 2, Lynch said.Investigators believe Perkins, who has addresses in both Oakland and Stockton, might have gotten rid of the dog after he “became aware of the press coverage” of the case, Lynch said.The campaign by Alameda police and authorities in Stockton, combined with the media coverage in both areas, brought several telephone tips reporting dogs resembling Deuce. Detectives pursued the leads, but in each case the tips proved fruitless.Finally, on Wednesday, another phone tip was received from a 24-year-old Stockton resident who saw a news report describing Deuce. The tipster reported purchasing a dog matching Deuce’s description for $20 from a man and woman on a street in Stockton, Lynch said.Alameda police detectives and Stockton animal control services officials scanned the dog and verified, via an embedded microchip, that the animal was Deuce. On Wednesday evening, the lead investigators in the case returned the dog to his owner, Helen Bignone.Bignone “was ecstatic, absolutely ecstatic,” Lynch said. “It was a very rewarding moment. We’re happy to have a good solid, successful resolution to this case. That doesn’t happen with a lot of street robberies.”Along with Perkins, police have identified a person of interest as a possible accomplice. Lynch could not provide any additional information about that suspect, except that the person was also wanted for a parole violation connected to criminal charges unrelated to the robbery. Investigators do not believe the man and woman who sold the dog have any connection to the suspects, and may have just found it when it was released in the park in Stockton.”If those people knew there was a reward for the dog,” in excess of $5,000, “they wouldn’t have sold it for $20 on the street,” Lynch said.
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Stephan J. Dougan, Personal Injury Attorney
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