N.J. Woman Makes Plea For Return Of Pet Maltese Stolen In Nutley Carjacking

BELLEVILLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A quick stop at a convenience store turned into a frantic search for a family dog left behind in an idling car.

Clutching her dog’s favorite toy, Lisa Villacari made a desperate plea to the man who took off with her car, which was left running in front of a 7-Eleven in Nutley. Her beloved 10-year-old Maltese, named “Valentino,” was inside the vehicle.

“Valentino is my life. He is my everything so I would like to have him home,” Villacari told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan.

The incident happened Monday at around 11 a.m.

“I walked in and got the water and I felt my car and I turned and the kid jumped in my car. I ran down Passaic Avenue after him,” Villacari said.

Witnesses said as Villacari ran out, the suspect turned around on an embankment and headed toward Passaic Avenue, making a right turn. Now Villacari is left just pleading for her dog’s safe return.

“Please, please, please give me my dog back — keep the car, keep everything. I’m not mad at you. I’m sure you didn’t realize you had Valentino, but I would like him to come home,” Villacari said.

Friends have been posting pictures of the dog everywhere. They’re worried because he has a heart problem and needs antibiotics. Villacari is also begging the suspect to take care of her dog.

“There’s dog food in his car, that’s his dog food that’s in the back seat — I hope you’re feeding him,” she said.

Police are working with other departments searching for the 2011 black Hyundai Sonata. The incident has police reminding residents to never leave a car on and unattended.

“Don’t make the mistake that I made. I trusted that he would be safe,” Villacari said.

Hoping to get new clues, police are also examining surveillance video from the front of the convenience store.

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One Comment

  1. Akim says:

    I agree that the owner made a mistake by leaving Valentino in the car unattended(I just wish she would have at least locked the doors!). But I just keep thinking about Valentino and how scared he must be right now wherever he is without his mommy. I really really hope the owner gets reunited with Valentino. I cannot imagine what she must be going through right now not knowing where her dog is or how he is doing. Let’s not make her feel worse than she already is with mean comments. I’m sure she’s probably saying the exact same things to herself asking herself why she did what she did. Dog owners, let’s all learn something from this and never let something like this happen to one of our beautiful dogs! Valentino I hope you are safe and being taken care of. Stay strong!

  2. dog owner says:

    come on lets be truthful, Anyone who has a dog has ran into a store one time or another and left the dog in the car.

  3. Tony says:

    Why isn’t this getting more publicity (updated articles, articles in more newspapers, etc.)? Someone must’ve seen this dog. If it was sold to a decent person, the buyer would return it, if the story is know. If good hearted kids see it and know the story, there’s a chance they’ll do the right thing. It may be in a bad neighborhood, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some good people living there who might protect the dog and help reunite him with his owner.

    1. Tony says:

      …if the story is knowN (not know)

  4. karen korec says:

    i have been praying for the safe return of Valentino..whoever did this has to realize that Valentino is a loved family member and has been for 10yrs…who also is ill with a heart condition..the weather is getting hot and he cant survive without proper medication and water along with the love of his family…
    PLEASE WHOEVER DID THIS…HAVE COMPASSION FOR THE FAMILY & THE DOG AND DO THE RIGHT THING AND RETURN VALENTINO AS SOON AS POSSIBLE..

  5. Angela Marino says:

    Lisa
    Ignore all of the morons who don’t have the compassion to understand the quality of a life, whether it’s a human or a dear pet … You did nothing wrong and I’ve been praying for Valentino’s safe return …. Hopefully the two of you will be reunited very soon. I love you ….

  6. Valentino Come HOME!! says:

    Lisa – you have to believe that even if Valenatino doesnt come back, that he is alive and safe and you did nothing wrong. For the jerks posting, I dont think Lisa thinks Valentino is a child, but it is a living creature who was and is dear to her heart. And the reason it is in the news you morons is because she is reaching out to us, the human beings in thsi story, to help…Do you think you can find sympathy? If not youre no better that the sc*mb@g her stole her car.

  7. GREGG PIRES says:

    doc in NJ,
    I think it’s time someone stepped in and told you to “SHUT THE HELL UP”! You have made your point, she should never have left the car running with the dog in it, we get it. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t that the car that belonged to her, that she goes to work and pays for. What gave that dirtbag the right to get into a vehicle that didnt belong to him in the first place…..NEWS FLASH, get a job and you too can own a car. If you took a nap and left your front door open does that give someone the right to come into your house and rob you? If your wife had her purse stolen by a mugger and her money was in it, was it her fault for not carrying her money in her pocket? Same concept. Have a little compassion for her, it’s her dog, or maybe your just an ass with no heart!

    1. doc in NJ says:

      thank you for setting me straight.

  8. MADELYN says:

    WHY NOT OFFER A REWARD ??????

    THISPOOR LITTLE GUY IS ALONE WITH A MANIAC AND YOU NEED TO SPEAK THE MANIAC’S LANGUAGE.

    MONEY!!
    THIS IS HEARTBREAKING STORY AND I WOULD BE OUT OF MY MIND.
    I HAVE NEVER LEFT MY DOGS ALONE.

    MY HEART & PRAYERS ARE WITH VALENTINO.
    PLEASE POST A REWARD OR SET UP A WEBSITE FOR DONATIONS.

    1. Tony says:

      She did offer a reward.

    2. pp says:

      There is a $1,000 reward for anyone who knows where this dog might be. I’ve seen all the flyers this woman has posted. The police have the two suspects in custody, they found the car a week later. They say they don’t know what happened to the dog……. if anyone can get the word out on facebook in the Newark area, where the car was found, there is a $1,000 reward, no questions asked, for the safe return of the dog. Call the nutley or newark police department.

  9. TITOvIC says:

    I’m sure that a lot of people does this too. I suggest that you have a REMOTE STARTER installed in your car. That way when you have your pet with you and you need to make a quick run, you can still lock your car and start the engine and when the engine is running the AC is running also. If the carnappers break in, the engine stops running once they step on the breaks…

  10. Bob Braun says:

    You know what, the owner did not make a mistake. She left the care running with the AC. We should be able to leave anything unlocked and not have some ghetto minded fool try to steal it. Why is it socially acceptable to blame the victim, when the real perp is the person who committed the crime.

    1. Doreen Smith says:

      You are SOOOOO right. As for the nasty posters, yes that means you “doc in NJ”. Isee that you were NEVER taught…”if you have nothing nice to say then keep your comments to yourself”. I certainly hope that you are ONLY a doctor of education and NOT a Medical Doctor or Veterinarian, who have the gift of compassion.

      1. doc in NJ says:

        Doreen, the next time I have to call CPS because of obvious neglect I observed during an exam, I’ll have my receptionist forward the “how dare you!” calls to you.

  11. I love my Westie says:

    I love my dog. Unless at home he is never left outside unattended not even for a minute. I sure home she gets him back though, I could feel her anxiety and worry.

  12. Kerri Hallahan says:

    Such a shame. I hope she doesn’t leave her car running with an animal it it again……I hope her dog is returned but she should have never left him in the car in the first place…….You wouldn’t leave a child like that so why a dog? Good luck to you and your dog. I hope for a happy return!

  13. Cassie says:

    Who cares what the women looks like, whether or not we live in a gay marriage society or what the hell Casey Anthony did? Seriously folks, a woman lost her dog and she’s upset. Anyone with .5 ounces of human decency would feel bad for her.

    1. kmd716 says:

      Well said Cassie. People only care about themselves anymore. I hope the dog gets returned.

  14. Maureen Fahey says:

    Lisa is my friend for 20 + years. She is a beautiful person both inside and out. She loves her dog, pet, as most of us do! She made a mistake. She is an animal lover.. PLEASE PLEASE…whoeveryou are..have a heart…and return Valentino…no questions asked.

    1. doc in NJ says:

      so, if she left a small child in the car unattended and running, and heaven forbid the same tragedy happened, there should also be no recriminations because YOU know her and she’s a “beautiful person?”

      It’s irresponsible negligence when the person is a stranger, but a simple mistake when a friend is at fault. You need some soul searching.

      1. Kerri Hallahan says:

        doc in NJ – you are 100% right! Couldn’t agree more. I feel bad for the dog, not so much the owner. The owner of this dog let the dog down. She didn’t protect him well enough. Its a mistake, yes, but she’d be in jail if this were a child! Beautiful person or not, i’m not sure she deserves this dog back if it is found.

    2. JudyG says:

      Only a suggestion Nutley police use a physic, have you tried to contact her?

  15. MARIE says:

    PLEASE DO RETURN THIS LITTLE DOG TO HIS OWNER. MALTESE ARE THE MOST LOVING AND AFFECTIONALTE DOGS. I AM PRAYING FOR HIS SAFE RETURN AND CANNOT IMAGINE THE FEAR HE IS GOING THROUGH NOW.
    PLEASE HAVE A HEART, DROP HIM IN A SAFE AREA.

    THE CAR MEANS NOTHING. THE DOG MEANS THE WORLD.

    AS A FELLOW MALTESE OWNER MY HEART GOES OUT TO THIS WOMAN.
    I WOULD ALSO NEVER NEVER NEVER LEAVE MY BOYS UNATTENDED.

  16. Bell Toller says:

    car/dog owner is at fault.

    Like Steve Martin said on Wild and Crazy Guy(COmedy Record)-I Promise Not To Leave My Keys In The car

  17. Robert says:

    You know the dog was tossed out the window at high speed…I hope it survived.

    1. judyg says:

      Why are you the one who took the car and dog

  18. Bman says:

    Are those the right pics? I can’t figure out with one the dog is.

    1. Granny says:

      Learn how to spell lol …but .I’d rather keep the dog and put the woman in the pound

    2. john says:

      Yeah and you can’t spell either. Wonder what YOU look like.

  19. DC says:

    My prayers go out to you and your pup. Please encircle Valentino with the Jesus conscience and the driver who took the car for awakening in his mind and heart to return Valentino safe and sound tomorrow. Amen

    1. Ken says:

      We live in a gay marriage world now. Jesus can’t help anyone anymore

      1. Kerri Hallahan says:

        Seriously Ken? I think jesus should help you. My theory proven again…It you religious people who are the nastiest people around. lol – must be catholic

      2. Cheryl Gilberti says:

        Wow, that was an ignorant comment, and I’m not religious OR gay.

  20. cygon says:

    why? casey did not even look for missing caylee.

  21. VINOLIVET says:

    Come on dude….return the poor dog !!!!!

    1. JudyG says:

      I have been upset since I saw this on TV. She has been punished enough. Return Valentino, he is going through torture. No mommy no familiar surroundings. Every day he is without his medications his life is threatened. If you have an ounce of kindness in your body, get the pup to a vet, shelter, or call the hotline. This story was downplayed. It should have been on the news at least for four days. They should have updated it when the car was found and not the pup. If I could do something for Lisa, I would be out there looking for him myself. Bring Valentino home!!!!

    2. JudyG says:

      Are there any updates? They said someone saw him is a park in Newark, what’s going on?

  22. gman says:

    She should be arrested for animal neglect and abuse and not be allowed to keep pets ever again.

  23. doc in NJ says:

    she left her car running, UNATTENDED, with a HELPLESS LIVING THING in the car. I’m supposed to feel empathy for her why….?

    1. maxiemom says:

      Because you are SUPPOSED to be a human being with feelings, compassion and empathy for those who are suffering, feeling pain and in need.

      Obviously that concept has been lost on you.

  24. ughh says:

    RETURN THE DOG PLEASE😦 so sad

  25. nathan says:

    This whole piece is set -up for readers to make fun of the woman and her dog. A crazed looking photo, the type of dog many people find yappy and annoying – why is this a worthy news story anyway? Lowest -common denominator “journalism” practiced here once again. People love their dogs and so does she.

    1. mary hart says:

      Nathan, i’m reading your comment and my daughter is like “what, what” becasue I’m laughing so loud. I really enjoyed reading your little paragraph here and I agree with everything you said!

      1. Darlene Jacovetti says:

        It is a worthy news story, because some people do not have children and there pets are the only children they will have…. 10 years with a dog who does nothing but give unconditional love…. How many of us can say that we know people, family members or friends who love us unconditionally….. Don’t they judge us, make fun of us, blame us when their lives fall apart, I could go on and on with the emtional abuse our family and some friends (who are no longer friends) do to us emotionally and physically…. My 77 year old Mom was body slammed, air born 8 feet and landed in her hallway slamming her head and body as she hit the walls….. Now, she has lost everything… Her 49 Year old Son Was Given Her Home, Car, Money, 3 years before this incident occured…. Now, since the Police pressed charges, he will not allow her to live in the home she gave him…. SHE IS HOMELESS!!!! (NEED I SAY MORE??? & YOU WONDER WHY THIS WOMEN LOVES HER DOG??? ) I HAVE NO CHILDREN, AND MAYBE THAT IS A GOOD THING CONSIDERING WHAT HAPPENED TO MY MOM……

      2. Oscar says:

        Darlene, seek professional help for your situation.
        Oh…and the fact is that animals aren’t children, no matter how that makes you feel..

  26. Linda says:

    I am praying for the return of her dog.

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