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Published August 14, 2012, 09:31 PM

Police seek help finding dog stolen from West Acres pet store

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- It's not your typical shoplifting case, but it still has the full attention of the Fargo Police Department. Authorities are looking for your help in tracking down two people they believe stole a puppy from a pet store in West Acres Mall.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- It's not your typical shoplifting case, but it still has the full attention of the Fargo Police Department. Authorities are looking for your help in tracking down two people they believe stole a puppy from a pet store in West Acres Mall.

The crime happened on August 2nd at Pets R' Inn inside of West Acres. As we'll show you in the surveillance video, a woman fled out this entrance of West Acres before hopping into a car waiting for her and fleeing the scene.

Lt. Joel Vettel - Fargo Police: "This clearly, you're dealing with animal that's alive and the welfare of that animal has to."

Police say the dog is a Lhasa Apso valued at more than $500. The suspected thief spends about six minutes inside the Pets R' Inn shop canvassing the area before an employee finally lets her hold the animal.

Lt. Joel Vettel: "At some point she asks for the employee to retrieve something from a backroom area."

Afterwards, the woman heads over to the play area, squats down for a brief moment and immediately leaves. Seconds later the mall security camera's catch her speed walking through other mall customers before leaving out the south entrance near Sears.

A getaway driver was waiting and ready, a sign police believe shows this was a planned operation.

Lt. Joel Vettel: "Anytime you have that, it's probably not the first time these individuals did something like this."

The store owner was unable to be reached for an on-camera interview, but wants it known that he and his wife are just concerned about the well-being and health of the animal.

The dog was just nine weeks old and sill needed more shots and further medical care. Veterinarians are encouraged to keep an eye out for any dog that might resemble this Lhasa Opso.

Police say this sheds light on the mistaken idea that shoplifting is a harmless crime.

Lt. Joel Vettel: "It's not a victimless crime and it certainly shows that people can be call us and this animal, first of all, we just want to make sure its well."

Since the dog is valued at more than $500, this is considered a felony and both parties could be facing jail time.

Again, anyone with any information is encouraged to call the Fargo Police Department.

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