After Concern For Dog’s Well Being, Woman Steals Pet

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Farmington woman is charged with theft after police say she stole a dog that was left in a vehicle.

Police say 22-year-old Stephanie Hrncir initially called police around 11:37 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2010 to check on the welfare of an Australian Shepherd that was left in a vehicle outside Shenanigan’s Pub in Rosemount.

Officers responded and made contact with the owner who said he would take care of his dog. Police say the dog did not appear to be in any stress and was happy and healthy.

A short time later, dispatch notified officers that Hrncir called several additional times in reference to the dog being left in the vehicle. The officer called Hrncir and informed her that the dog was fine and she did not need to be concerned.

At 3:19 a.m., the owner of the dog called police to report his dog had been stolen from his vehicle. He said he purchased the dog for $1,100.

He said he was in the bar for about an hour, came out and found his dog was missing.

Law enforcement tracked down Hrncir’s address, based on her repeated calls of concern, and went to her home. She told the officer she knew why they were there and admitted to taking the dog.

She said she took the animal because nothing was being done and she believed it was cold. Hrncir said she was going to keep it as one of her pets.

Police returned the dog to its owner. Hrncir faces one count of theft.

  • Les Johnson

    What a mindless buffoon. She should be charged with a crime just for her awful last name.

    • cat

      Well, I’m guessing someone beat you, Les Johnson, with an ugly stick and that is why you always have to attack the person in the article. Insecurity. I bet you have small hands, too. You know what they say…

      • Jim Vertein

        CAT y ou go after Les for attacking the persons name then you do the same thing to Les. Pot? Kettle?

      • Les Johnson


        Are you seriously trying to insult me based on my Anthony Wiener size? For real?

  • HUH!?

    god the nerve.. I would press charges t100%!!!

  • red

    what the? I ‘d be more concerned if it was 90 degrees and 80% humidity but I would never take the dog. Charge her

    • Les Johnson

      A dog alone for several hours is not mistreatment, dummy. My dogs are alone in their kennel right now.

      • markH

        Calling me a dummy does not prove your point Les, it only proves that you have no valid argument to rebut the claim that leaving a dog unattended in a cold vehicle for several hours without water or food is mistreatment. You might be a nice person, but your debating skills are quite juvenile and unschooled. Peace.

        • Ashley T

          your kennell is not outside in probably below frezzing temperatures with no heat …

          • Les Johnson

            This dog was in a car, and police verified it wasn’t “below freezing temperatures” in there.

            Your emotional rant means nothing and is not relevant here.

            • She's a hero!

              You better go back and read the article because all the police said was the dog appeared healthy and happy they said nothing about below freezing.
              Would all you people who are defending this idiot say the same if it was a child in the car instead of a dog?
              You do not leave a animal in the car for a long period whether it’s cold or hot it is against the law and there has been times where the police have taken the animal because of this.
              The idiot states that he was in the bar for only an hour but the first call was made at 11:37pm and after that there were several more calls but the idiot didn’t call police to report the dog missing until 3:19am, well if you calculate the time that is more than an hour so right there he is lying and he’s the one that should be in jail for abusing that poor dog not her, I applaud her for doing that and I would have done the same thing.

              • Les Johnson

                So, you are saying the police filed a false report. Afterall, they said the dog was absolutely fine, and you have determined the dog was about to die.

                That is a heck of an allegation. Are you prepared to back that up in court?

              •'re kidding right

                You know..if the dog was in REAL danger..the POLICE would have called ANIMAL CONTROL and then notified the owner of the vehicle of what was happening.

                You are celebrating an obvious idiot.

                • markH

                  That’s placing unquestionable confidence in the integrity and thoroughness of law enforcement who likely had (in their estimation) “more important” things to do than babysit a dog in a car. Now, I choose to actually look at the facts of the case (at least those known to us in this short story) and draw reasonable conclusions. We know the dog was alone for several hours. We know it was very cold outside. We know (if we know anything) that even police officers can be mistaken in surmising the facts of a situation. What we do NOT know is how the animal felt being all alone in a cold car for hours by itself. Those who do not hold the emotional welfare of animals to be of more than passing concern would have us believe that the animal’s feeling of isolation and fear and cold have no bearing in this case because that faction regards the animal as mere chattel. I think we should all be a bit more afraid of those who hold this view. Peace.

              • Les Johnson

                You would have vandalized and burglarized someone’s car, and stolen their dog out of altruism? LOL

                You are a moron.

            • markH

              My response had no emotional qualities whatsoever, I was merely stating my position so that you would understand my point. Now Les, I expect you to apologize for calling me a dummy in your earlier comment. While you’re at it, you can apologize to those other poster whom you accused of “sitting on your fat duff” and the “what a maroon (sic)” quip. I can be a gentleman and accept any sincere statement of regret and contrition. Peace.

            • Tony

              Where does it say that it wasn’t below freezing temperatures? or do you get to make up facts like you feel? The police checked on the dog at 11 pm (was probably in the car several hours before this) Lady took the dog out 3-4 hours later….. So the dog was in the freezing car without water or food for 4-12 hours. It sounds like the vehicle wasn’t even locked, so the dog could’ve let itself out. BTW, do you live with your business partner? I don’t think we have anything binding in this state that you can call a person your partner.

              • Les Johnson

                That comment was posted by a fan of mine who thinks he can post as me because he’s upset by my comments.

                My partner is my wife, and I don’t own any toy poodles quite obviously, sir. A little critical thinking on your part would have cleared that all up for you.

                • yukon cornelius

                  HaHa!! Les got punk’d!! A punk gets punk’d!! that’s rich!

          • HHH

            This particular breed of dog is accustomed to cold weather environments. There was absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the dog outside in the cold. It is a result of human ignorance when we think that just because we are cold that our arctic-acclimated breed of dog feels exactly the same way. I wonder if this woman shows this kind of concern for other people? What was she doing hanging around in a bar parking lot at 2AM on such a cold day in the first place?

        • Les Johnson

          I’m really not a nice person, but that is neither here nor there. My use of the term “dummy” was not meant harshly, but more in a laughing tone, if that makes sense.
          And technically, I’m not debating anything, since my mind is already made up.

          The police said the dog was just fine. Do you have any specific details to refute that claim other than the typical “it must have…….” type reasoning?

          • markH

            Your arguments are specious and rambling, to say nothing of the personal attacks on others, but at least you’re honest about it.

            • Les Johnson

              “Your arguments are specious and rambling”

              I disagree. First of all, they’re definitely not rambling.

              My comments are spot on, and I don’t see anybody able to adequately refute them, that I would retract any of them.

  • Tony

    Bars close at 3:19am? Isn’t that the real story here?

    • RP

      Strip clubs are

    • Karen Urman

      Thats what I was thinking??

  • YoMaMJ

    No way he was in the bar for an hour if the initial report came in just before midnight and he called at 3:10AM to report it stolen. Isn’t bar time 2am?

    Good for her for protecting the dog.

    • Tony

      Shenanigan’s Pub in Rosemount is my new party place! Do they have any special on after regular close?

    • Les Johnson

      Protecting the dog from what exactly? Please be specific.

      • Tony

        I know you pick and choose what you read but the event occurred last new years eve. It was 8 degrees roughly. And the lady either wanted the dog or it was in the guys vehicle for 4 hours or more.

        • Les Johnson

          Please just answer my question. Why waste the time and space and then not even address it?

    • Jim Vertein

      so then breaking and entering and stealing are ok if one believes they are doing good in your eyes. so in your eyes if i believe something is wrong in your house i have the right to just enter and right what I believe is wrong. good to know

  • Arch Stanton

    Number of questions need to be resolved. First call to police was at 11:37 p.m., but then the owner discovers his dog was gone at 3:17 a.m. “after being in the bar for about an hour”? Sounds like he left his dog in the car for 3 1/2 hours on a late December night. The woman needs to be cited, but I would also cite the owner for neglect or mistreatment of an animal.

    Also, are these police officers doubling as pet psychologists? Dog was happy and healthy? I think we can assume that a responsible pet owner would leave the dog at home rather than locked in a car.

  • sammy

    Why would you leave a $1,100 dog in a car for 3 1/2 hours. I think we are missing some of this story. GREAT reporting ‘cco

    • Les Johnson

      What does the cost of the dog have to do with anything? Do you care more for dogs that cost more money?

      I don’t know the point of you including that in your comment. Please clarify for this old fool.

      • Dog lover

        I think that the point is that if you really spent $1,100 on a dog, you either have a ton of money to waste, or you REALLY wanted that dog. If you cared that much for the dog, would you leave him out in winter weather for 3 1/2 hours?! I wouldn’t leave my dog out in the winter weather, no matter what I spent on him! I think the owner is trying to claim their dog is worth more money to try to sue the concerned citizen for “mental distress” or something! Good for the citizen for caring more about the dog than a bottle of beer!!

        • em0886

          Personally I don’t see why everyone cares so much, but most importantly I would never leave my dog in th car no matter what the weather!!! People do crazy things….obviously, she took the dog and was going to just keep it! It’s just like idiots leaving their kids in the car and then wonder why they go missing or die in the vehicle!! The police had already responded so clearly the dog wasn’t in any danger.

        • Yukon Cornelius

          $1100 is a “ton of money” and is wasted if it’s on a dog?

          “Good for the citizen for caring more about the dog than a bottle of beer!!”

          Great emotional statement, but it’s completely pointless and meaningless.

    • Arch Stanton

      Absurdly, the price of the dog has some bearing on the degree of the crime. Stealing a $50 dog is a lesser crime than stealing a $1000 dog.

  • Les Johnson

    “Also, are these police officers doubling as pet psychologists? Dog was happy and healthy?”

    Perhaps as opposed to “frozen to death”, “suffering”, “in poor health”, “struggling to stay warm” and the like.

    Can you look at a dog and tell if it’s dying or if it’s happy? I can.

    • Tony

      Can you tell the condition of the dog when it was in a vehicle for 4 hours or more if it’s currently in someones warm house? Are you psychic?

      • Les Johnson

        Yes. No need to be psychic. A shivering dog is pretty easy to identify.

        You must not be a dog owner, or you would know these things and be able to identify them.

        • Tony

          When did the police determine the dog was ok? At 11pm? or at 4 am when they recouped it from this lady? Or were they there to make sure it was ok when she took it out of the vehicle? If it was the 3rd you are correct.

        • Jim Vertein

          so then maybe when the police arrived the dog was happy and didnt look stressed thats how they made their call

    • Arch Stanton

      My dog acts happy to see me now matter how hot, cold, or sick she might be, so I’m not sure how they could tell the dog was happy.
      Couldn’t the dog be acting happy to see someone that might be letting it out of the car?

      I’m just saying that as a general rule leaving a dog in the car for an extended period of time is inherently suspect. I don’t think you should have to wait until the animal is in distress before the police tell the owner to remedy the situation.

  • Really

    The dog must have been cold with all that fur? How do those wild dogs without ‘owners’ survive in the cold?

    • Really Really?

      Are you crazy? What about all those wild dogs on the moon? They don’t need air or water. Where are these dogs? South of the Mason Dixon?

      • Really Really Really

        Sounds like someone’s having a hard time distinguishing sarcasm with reality!

        • Really really really really!

          Hard to pull your non-blatant sarcasm out of text.

          • Really Really Really

            It’s probably hard to pull your head out of your A#$ every morning too!!!

      • Really Really Really

        No wait, you’re right – there are no wild dogs on this planet, or even Minnesota for that matter!! They’ve always lived in warm houses in the winters.

  • Woman Steals Pet Left Inside Vehicle « CBS Minnesota

    […] [WCCO] […]

  • Really

    Do you know of any wild dogs? I will call the humane society.

    • Someone's a dummy

      If you knew a wild dog, it wouldn’t be ‘wild’. Are you saying that dogs cannot possibly live on their own in the ‘wild’? They do have ‘Instincts’ like most animals, in order to survive – shocking news for you, I know. Kind of like when someone cuts their finger off – the dog is right there to snatch it up for a meal. Or did you think ‘Man’ taught them this behavior?

    • Mr.Fury

      There is a pack of wild dogs in eastern Washington getting into a lot of trouble right now.

      • Les Johnson

        That article is absurd and wrong. There are no wild dogs in a pack killing “for fun.” Don’t be so naive.

        • Mr.Fury

          Someone is off his meds today.

          • Les Johnson

            I see that. And he’s posting links to crazy stories as if they’re true. What a maroon, right?

  • Meh

    How is this news 6 months after the fact?!

  • Your Neighbor

    At least this city attorney had more smarts than ours. Several years ago while our home was being repaired, one of our neighbors stole the other neighbor’s dog because they “thought” it was being mistreated. (It was not.) They had someone else come and take the dog from their garage and it was never seen again. The work crew at our home were witnesses to the theft and gave statements to the police. The city attorney refused to press charges. It was horrible to grieve and watch our neighbors grieve over their missing pet. Wise up people. Before you do something you think is best for someone’s pet, get the facts straight.

  • Patricia Buss

    In my opinion this is an example of overzealous law enforcement/prosecutorial discretion :( It seems to me that 3 hours is too long for a dog to be left in a car on a Minnesota night. Did the dog need to be dead before they could conclude that? The dog is back with its initial owner, who hopefully will not make this mistake again. The woman deserves the thanks of animal lovers – particularly of the police and the owner of the dog.

    • Les Johnson

      The dog was fine. Nothing you’ve said has shown that to not be the case.

      Again, the police said the dog was just fine. Who are you to say their eyewitness account means nothing and you know more sitting on your fat duff in front of your computer eating bon bons? Get a clue.

      • HP

        The fact that it was winter and not summer makes a huge difference. If a dog were to be left in a car that long in the summer, it would certainly be in distress. But, as I said before, please do not take matters into your own hands. Call a professional to handle it and trust that they are handling it even if you don’t think they are doing anything. What if the dog would have bit her? Would she be suing the owner then?

  • Me

    It’s an Australian Shep, a hardy breed. While not inside, it wasn’t left outside of some sort of shelter. It was only alone for three hrs. people, not a day. Sheesh, my two dogs take naps longer than three hours so clearly, they can survive.

  • L

    OK so she first called at 11:37pm but the dog was reported missing at 3:19 am but the owner said he was only in the bar for an hour??? How does that add up?

    • arf arf

      Perhaps the owner had last seen the dog 1 hour before. If he is a smoker, then it makes sense that every time he went out to smoke he also checked on his dog.

  • Humane Agent

    Wow people I don’t even know where to start. First, the man was obviously lying about being in the bar for an hour when her first call to the police was at 11pm and he called to report the dog stolen after 2am. But, the woman had no right to take the animals. She should have called MN Federated Humane Societies 612-866-8663 to report alleged animal cruelty or neglect. They, in turn, would have done an investigation. In fact, by taking the dog any chance of having the owner charged with any neglect or cruelty issues are now impossible. People please do not take these things into your own hands even if you feel nothing is being done!!! There are very specific procedures that need to be followed and need to be taken by a trained professional. Call a professional to handle it next time.

    • Les Johnson

      Obviously lying? Because you said so, right? Right….

      Never mind the actual facts about what went on.

      Just make them up as you go. It fits your story better.

  • Zipper

    So your dog has to stay locked in your junker while you booze. Typical moron sense of entitlement. Anyone with even half a brain knows she did all the right things and the cops – how should I say it so they understand – Grown Up. Charge the real criminals in this case of wonton animal abuse!

    • Les Johnson

      Where was the abuse? Because he was “boozing?” LOL

      Why does that equal entitlement in your strange mind?

      I think wonton is a soup.

  • Joy

    Isn’t this a very late story. From Dec of 2010??? What gives?

  • Give me a break

    Wow, you want to hear the irony in this? There’s MORE upset over a dog who was reported fine after being left in a car than a child. The police said the dog was fine..they checked. There’s no law against leaving an animal in the car unless it’s in severe danger. Animals are kenneled all day..but none are upset about that. Yet they cheer a woman who’d go to the lengths to commit a crime in order to “save” it? PETA are nuts!

  • Sanity

    So some of you actually think it is appropriate to break into a vehicle, steal property, and take it home with you?

  • MN

    How about putting all this time and concern spent in front of your computer trying to be the smartest one in the room into actually doing something, like helping out at your local animal shelter if this story bothers you. Lame….

  • Les Johnson

    My partner & I own and show 3 toy poodles. He puts them in the kennel each morning before leaving for work and they are fine all day,with food & water. I simply don’t see the harm in this dog being in the car alone for a few hours.

  • donna k

    this is totally ridiculous. the woman was being a good samaritan and actually did try repeatedly to get the police to respond. Any dog lover would want to help that poor animal. there was no intent to “steal” the animal, only to protect it.
    kudos to the rescuer!

    • Les Johnson

      The police did respond. They decided the chick was an idiot, and the dog was fine.
      No intent to steal the animal? She came right out and said she was keeping it. What planet are you from?

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