AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - An Auburn family is hoping for an early Christmas present with the return of their missing dog.
Sunday afternoon, the Mitchell's gray and white shih tzu dog Tinkerbelle escaped from their home and ran into traffic on South College street in front of the Mill Creek subdivision.
In an attempt to catch the dog, the Mitchell's 12-year-old daughter ran into traffic.
As many as ten cars stopped on the highway to help the little girl rescue the dog when a while male drove passed in a dark color SUV, scooped up the dog into his vehicle, and did the unthinkable.
"He did a U-turn and he was coming back toward my daughter, headed back toward Auburn, and he slowed down, had the dog, pointed at the dog and said I have your dog and then sped off," explains Dixie Mitchell.
One witness tried to follow the man, but was unable to catch him.
Now the Mitchells are hoping that someone can help put the pieces of this puzzle together.
"I hope that if anybody witnessed the incident they would call the police department with any information because my daughter was so shook up, she doesn't really remember all of the details," says Mitchell.
Officials say in case like this, people may steal small dogs and use them as bait in dog fights or plan to come back to the owner's home and use the dog to kidnap children.
"We just want to warn parents who have children. We don't want to lure children whether it's a small, cute, very nice dog into our vehicle. We don't want anyone to sell our dog either," explains Mitchell.
If you have any information about the dog, you are asked to please contact the Auburn Police Department or the Lee County Humane Society.