Crime

Police: ‘Owner’ retrieves lost dog, then sells him for drug money

The call Kim Manzano got about her family’s missing dog didn’t bring the news she hoped.

She’d put up fliers at an apartment complex a few blocks from her South Hill home, and staff there called to make sure her family’s pet — a 6-year-old French bulldog/Boston terrier mix named Brodie — had been returned to her.

He hadn’t.

The woman who claimed the pooch as her own was lying and sold the dog for drug money, according to Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers.

Now, the woman will say only that she sold Brodie to an unknown person, possibly on offerupnow.com or craiglist.com, according to Crime Stoppers.

The Manzanos still hope the public can help their pet find his way home.

“He’s just a member of our family,” Manzano said. “We just miss him and want him back.”

Brodie’s troubles started Oct. 23 when he wandered away after the Manzanos let him outside their apartment near 136th Street East and Meridian Avenue East.

A day or two later, the suspect claimed Brodie as her own, Manzano said.

It’s not clear how the woman knew the dog was missing, investigators said.

A few days later, staff at the nearby apartment complex called Manzano to check on Brodie.

That’s when everyone realized he’d been stolen.

Manzano contacted the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and started investigating herself. She looked at surveillance footage from the apartment complex, spotted the suspect and posted images of her on social media.

A friend of her sister recognized the woman at a grocery store, followed her and took down her license plate number. That helped detectives identify the woman, who the Sheriff’s Department said since had been arrested on other charges.

She told investigators she saw the dog as a means to get money and sold him. The sale happened between Oct. 27 and 30, detectives said, adding they don’t believe the buyer knows the dog was stolen.

Meanwhile, Brodie’s family waits and feels his absence.

Manzano said her 8-year-old son misses the pup.

“He’s really sad about it,” she said. “He keeps asking when he’s going to come home.”

And Brodie’s companion, a 9-year-old pug named Cookie, misses him, too.

“She’s kind of like his mom,” Manzano said. “She looks lonely. You can tell she doesn’t know what’s going on.”

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