Stolen Longmont puppy found

Police release mug shot of suspect in theft

LONGMONT, Colo. - A puppy stolen in a Longmont pickup truck has been found in Westminster.

Police said a Good Samaritan was filling his car with gas in the area of Colfax Avenue and Kalamath Street in Denver, when he was approached by a man with a small puppy.  The man told the Good Samaritan he could not care for his puppy and asked him to take him.

The Good Samaritan took the puppy back to his home in Westminster, where he contacted Westminster Animal Management.  Animal Management went to the home and checked the puppy for a micro-chip. It was discovered the puppy was the small black Labrador that was in the truck which had been stolen in Longmont a few days prior. 

The dog's owner was reunited with his pet Sunday afternoon at the Westminster Police Department.

"This never would have happened if we hadn't micro-chipped her," said Steve Knutson, the puppy's owner.

The saga began when a thief stole a pickup truck parked outside Knutson's business with the 5-month-old black lab puppy inside on Thursday night. 

Knutson said he had put the dog in the truck a few minutes before while he closed up his shop.

"She loves to sit inside the truck," said Knutson. "We're not goint to let her do that anymore. And I won't leave my keys in it anymore, either."

The truck was recovered Saturday. Police said they were contacted about the dog early Saturday morning.

Steve Knutson told 7NEWS his truck was stolen from his business, Diagonal Tire and Alignment, in the 800 block of First Avenue around 7 p.m. Thursday.  He had run inside the business and had left the keys in the ignition.

Knutson’s dog, a 5-month-old black lab puppy named Cheyenne, was lying on the front seat of the truck at the time.

Mark Edward Cittadino, 42, was arrested Saturday.  Police said he was driving the truck.  He was booked into the Larimer County jail for investigation of aggravated motor vehicle theft, theft and criminal mischief. 

Cittadino said he sold the dog. A handwritten receipt was inside the cab of the truck that indicated the the dog was sold for $120.

Knutson had pleaded for the return of his dog earlier.

"If you paid any money for it, I would give you back the money you paid for it, no questions asked," said Knutson. " I'll pay you back what you lost."

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