GAGE PARK — A dognapping in which a Pomeranian named Sunny was held for $250 ended with a woman being arrested and the pup safely returned home after detectives listened in on the ransom call, authorities said.
"I just thank God I got my puppy back. When you have a puppy for a long time, a puppy is just like your kid," the dog's owner, a 66-year-old woman who asked that she not be identified, told DNAinfo Chicago.
Charged in the theft is Daniela Ramirez, 26, of the 6000 block of South Troy Street, who was arrested Thursday and appeared in court Friday.
According to authorities, Ramirez and a relative grabbed Sunny on Thursday when the year-old dog escaped through the backyard into an alley, according to the report.
Sunny's owner went after the dog but couldn't catch up and saw Ramirez with Sunny under her arm, the report states.
"That's how I knew exactly who she was," the owner said.
A short time later, the alleged culprits, who found the owner's contact information on Sunny's tags, called looking for a reward, police said.
According to the police report, the caller told the owner, "I have your dog, but what's the reward? Because I ain't giving it back unless I get a reward," said the voice on the other line.
The caller mentioned $250, and when Sunny's owner said she could not immediately come up with the money, the owner was promised she would not see the dog again, according to a police report.
"Any time someone takes your dog and says they want $250, I'm kind of worried about that," the owner said in the interview.
The owner went to the police station and, with detectives listening, called the dognappers, who told her, "You want your f------ dog ... You better get me ... that 250 bucks,' " authorities said.
"She just blurted out on the phone that her [relative] wants her money and 'My [relative's] boyfriend's got a gun, so we don't want no stuff out of you,' " the owner said.
The voice on the line then demanded that they meet at the dog owner's home — and threatened to shoot the dog's owner if she "got anyone else involved," the report states.
When Ramirez arrived, with Sunny in her lap, police confronted her before she could get out of the car, according to the police report. Her relative is listed in court documents as a co-conspirator but has not been charged.
Ramirez, a waitress from Chicago Lawn with four children, "took the dog and demanded a reward," Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said. "[She] threatened to shoot the victim if she didn't pay."
Ramirez appeared before a judge Friday on charges of harassment and theft and for resisting arrest for pulling away from police as they tried to cuff her, the report states.
A Cook County judge set bail for Ramirez at $10,000. Ramirez also is barred from having any contact with the dog's owner.
Sunny was fine after the ordeal, but his owner said the pooch knows something wasn't right.
"They didn't do nothing to him. He just knew it was none of us he was with," the owner said.
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