Two puppies stolen from Petland stores in Bolingbrook and Naperville Friday are safe near St. Louis, according to company officials.
Adam Stachowiak, owner of the Naperville Petland store at 720 S. Route 59, said in an email that a man fled after dropping off the puppies in a kennel Sunday at a Petland store in the St. Louis area. The puppies were with another Maltese puppy that was stolen from a Lake Saint Louis Petland store Saturday afternoon.
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Police from Lake Saint Louis, which is more than 35 miles west of St. Louis, declined to comment Sunday night.
Stachowiak said the puppies appear to be in good condition, and the two from Bolingbrook and Naperville are expected to be back in Illinois on Tuesday.
Surveillance video from Friday showed a woman stealing a male, 14-week-old white Maltese puppy named Hercules from the Bolingbrook Petland store at 744 W. Boughton Road. About 30 minutes later, a person who appeared to be the same woman stole a male, 10-week-old white Havanese puppy named Casper from the Petland in Naperville.
Petland employees reported that in both cases, the woman asked to see one of the white puppies and then distracted a worker so she could place the puppy in a bag and leave the store.
Naperville police didn't have any more information about the case Sunday night; Bolingbrook police said the investigation is ongoing.
Stachowiak said that Casper, who was identified from a microchip, probably won't be up for sale again right away because he'll need to get readjusted to the pet store.
"I think he's probably going to be pretty popular," Stachowiak said, adding that he hopes Casper's future owner will want him not just because he was in the news but because he is a good fit for them.