BROOKLYN — A man was caught on video stealing a 4-month-old puppy named Pippen from a locked room in a Bushwick laundromat Monday afternoon, police said.
The dognapper managed to unlock the door of a room inside of Knickerbocker Laundry Station at 334 Knickerbocker Ave. and lured the puppy out before scooping him up at about 3:30 p.m., according to a video released by police and the dog's owner Braulio Espinal.
The dognapper fled south on Knickerbocker Avenue and hadn't been arrested as of Wednesday morning, police said.
Espinal, 36, who works as a manager at the laundromat, was away running errands when the theft happened, but he came running the moment his coworkers notified him, he said.
"I got really upset. I got really angry. I don't understand why someone would do something like that," he said. "That's why it's a sad story — I don't know what they are going to do with the dog," Espinal said.
Police released a surveillance video of the theft on Tuesday.
Espinal bought Pippen, a Cockalier worth about $1,400, for his 7- and 11-year-old daughters about a month and a half ago, he said. He called his children as soon as he discovered the dog was taken.
"They were sad. They were crying. It's like someone passes away in your family — you don't want to make the call," Espinal said.
Pippen liked to play with Espinal's other dog, a Yorkie named Tuto.
"It's a playful puppy," he said.
Braulio Espinal stands in the locked area from where a thief stole his puppy, Pippen. (DNAinfo/Dusica Sue Malesevic)
"Yesterday was a bad day for me. [My daughters] keep asking me if the police found him or not," he added.
Police described the suspect as a man in his 30s, standing roughly 6 feet tall, with black hair and brown eyes.
He was last seen wearing gray sneakers, blue jeans, a blue shirt and sporting a tattoo on his right forearm, officials said.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).