Romeo, a valuable Labradoodle recovered after an alleged dognapping in the Mission district, returned to what he knows best Monday: breeding.
After running from a home Friday afternoon, the 8-year-old Labrador retriever and poodle mix — a blend that produces puppies reportedly worth more than $2,800 apiece — was stolen by a suspect driving a green Ford Mustang, police said.
The pooch was taken from the sidewalks in the 3200 block of 23rd Street “right before our eyes,” said Mollie Raab, a retiree and part-time breeder who lives in Portola Valley.
Raab and her business partner jotted down the car’s license number and filed a report with San Francisco police. Assuming cops had more serious crimes to solve, Raab said, they decided to launch their own investigation. They asked for advice on an Internet forum, contacted a private investigator and eventually received a tip that the Mustang was located at an address in Hayward, Raab said.
Hayward police warned the dog breeders not to approach the suspect, Raab said, saying he had a rap sheet. Cops eventually responded and spoke to the suspect’s son, police said, who allegedly admitted Romeo had been at the home but was no longer there. There was not enough evidence of the dog being stolen for the police to arrest the suspect.
The dog breeders then searched the area for five hours, posting fliers that offered a $1,000 reward for Romeo’s safe return. Finally, a family in the area phoned Raab saying they had found Romeo.
Romeo, who turned 8 on Sunday, is now home, and on Monday, Raab said, he enjoyed his final conjugal visit before retiring from breeding.