Police: Dog stolen from Eastern Shore front yard

Posted at 8:14 PM, Jan 12, 2015

Accomack County, Va. - The Accomack County Sheriff's Office tells NewsChannel 3 a pit bull was stolen from a front yard on Matthews Road in Hopeton.

Two women were in a U-Haul, went to the home, and put the dog in the truck, according to the sheriff Todd Godwin.

He says the two women made it all the way to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, where they were stopped by police.

When they were stopped, Godwin says the dog wasn't in the truck. He says he thinks the two women transferred the dog to a different car before reaching the bridge.

For Sonny Hall he says there`s no mistaking what he saw.

“I couldn`t believe what I was seeing,” Hall says. “Went right up to the guy`s yard, went right straight to the dog, unleash the dog, put it in the crate, and I watched him take it to the back of the U-Haul, lift it up and put it in there,” he says.

Hall says there were two women in the cab and a man in the back. Hall walked up to the U-Haul to ask what they were doing.

“I watched her, she turned the steering wheel and when he was yelling in the back, `we gotta go, we got to go` that`s when she floored it and if it hadn`t been for me jumping out of the way they would`ve struck me and they did get part of my shoe,” he says.

As all of this was unfolding, the dog`s caretaker, Daniel Melendez, was inside his trailer on Matthews Road - oblivious.

It was a sheriff`s deputy, he says, who later told him of his pit bull Chico’s fate.

“He said somebody steal your dog. I said `what? ` He said yeah somebody steal your dog,” Melendez says.
But after the shock wore off, Melendez immediately recalled a strange visit from two days earlier.

He says a man and woman came to his door and demanded he bring Chico, who was in the front yard - inside and out of the cold.

“I said ok that`s fine because I understand it`s too cold and I’m going to put my dog inside but give me a few minutes."

But it gets even more puzzling. Melendez says the woman then offered to buy Chico for $100.

“I said no I don`t sell and she said ok I’ll give to you $200,” he says. “I said no I don`t sell. If you give me $1,000, $2,000 I don`t sell.”

So far, the women have only been questioned, but Sheriff Godwin says charges could be on the way.

Until they're caught, neighbors who live along Matthews Road are on-guard, ready to protect their pets.

"If they come up to my porch, I'm not saying what might happen, but if they try to take my dog, and I tell them to stop, I have a 12 gauge. I will defend my home in any means necessary," Joseph Roache, who lives nearby, told NewsChannel 3.

If you know anything, call the Accomack County Sheriff's Office at 757-787-1131.