EATONTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A dog was found Wednesday after being stolen from an Eatontown, New Jersey animal shelter where a family was waiting to pick him up, and a suspect has been arrested.
Eatontown police said they located Susan Bajew, 63, of Neptune on a tip in the theft of the dog, Tub Tub. Bajew was a customer at the shelter on Christmas Eve and a former volunteer, police said.
Bajew confessed to police that she took the dog because she didn’t have money to buy him, police said. The dog was returned to the shelter.
When Tub Tub was stolen, Dominique Searight of Neptune had already signed the papers to adopt him for her 5-year-old twins, Lana and Alani. She went over to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Eatontown around 3 p.m. Christmas Eve to pick him up.
“I came in I did all the paperwork, and I adopted the dog – and got the collar, got the leash, I got everything – and I literally was just waiting for dog to come out,” said Searight, of Neptune.
“At first, you know, we thought maybe the dog might have been out with a volunteer being walked, or maybe in back being bathed. You know, we searched high and low for the dog and couldn’t find him – and came to realization that someone stole him,” said Ross Licitra, Chief Executive Director of the Monmouth County SPCA.
There was no trace of the 7-pound dog – just an empty kennel near an unlocked exit used for walking dogs.
Late Tuesday, the shelter was considering putting locks on all the doors so that only employees could freely go in and out.