Dognapping accused can’t escape
long arm of social media law

Osoyoos Mounties are crediting the power of social media for the safe return of a purloined pooch.

Last Friday, an employee at Shoppers Drug Mart in Osoyoos happened upon a Facebook posting from the owner of Cali, a 15-week-old beagle, reporting the pet stolen in Burnaby and looking for help from the online community.

“Her owner reported that two acquaintances had stolen Cali and were headed to Quebec in a light blue car with unknown Quebec licence plates,” explained Cpl. Dave Smith of the Osoyoos detachment.

The Facebook posting included photos of the two suspected dognappers.

“That is where the alert employee  . . .read the story and recalled that two people matching the description had entered the store earlier looking for a dog leash and dog food,” he said.

“The employee was also aware that the pair had subsequently attended another business in search of the same items and were also enquiring about free places to camp in the Osoyoos area.”

The employee reached out to Cali’s owner via social media who in turn contacted the Osoyoos RCMP.

Acting on limited information, Osoyoos constables Jodie Rausch and Brent Greenfield set off on a search of the Strawberry Creek Road area, eventually locating two persons in possession of Cali.

“Cali was subsequently seized by police and after doing some ‘hard time’ at the Osoyoos RCMP Detachment — which included treats, water, a soft bed and lots of belly rubs — was returned to her grateful owner who drove straight to Osoyoos from Burnaby.”

Although the suspects have not yet been charged — they offered an alternative story, explained Cpl. Smith — the episode suggests not everything about social media is bad.

“This is a great news story which highlights the power of social media when used for a positive purpose,” he said.

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