NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s the case of the purloined Pomeranian.

As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, surveillance video shows a man in a blue denim jacket as he pretends to peruse the Citipups pet store on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village.

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When no one is looking, he sneaks to the restricted area around the back, glances around again before quickly snatching a Pomeranian puppy from its cage.

“Who knows where the dog is going to end up. That’s what I’m worried about,” said Greenwich Village resident Conor Weiss.

(credit: NYPD)

The theft happened Tuesday afternoon just before 3:45.

Dog owners in the area were stunned watching the video, showing the man walking undetected past a customer and employee at the register. They say the store is always bustling with people.

“It doesn’t seem like an easy place you can just go in and grab a dog,” said East Village resident Sarah Sclarandis.

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“I feel like usually anytime I walk past it’s usually crowded in there, so the fact that somebody could do that when other people are around, it’s very upsetting,” said West Village resident Bari Shmerler.

The owner of the store declined to comment but employees say this isn’t the first time someone’s tried stealing from the business.

“It’s sad when it’s a live animal because you just don’t know what can happen,” said Sclarandis.

“That’s probably the most scary thing, is that you don’t them being mistreated in any way,” Showak said.

Officers say the stolen Pomeranian is valued at $3,495.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.

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Christina Fan contributed to this report. 

CBSNewYork Team