Reporting Bill Hudson
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) – The sights and sounds of playful puppies are once again inside Thunder Owl Kennels in Prior Lake.
Four of Jeff Bardon’s 3-week-old Husky pups, from a litter of six, were boldly snatched early Sunday morning.
Wednesday morning, Bardon smiled and said,”I was hoping it would end this way, but I didn’t think it would be this quick.”
Tuesday night at 10 p.m. on WCCO-TV, we told you the story of how Bardon came out to his kennel on Monday morning, only to discover the four puppies gone. The kennel door was left unlocked, but to his good fortune, he’d just connected surveillance cameras inside the kennel.
Those cameras clearly recorded the thief in the act and the video was broadcast in the television report.
“In this casem, we had video to go on but we didn’t have any real solid leads. So as soon as people found out about this or heard about this story, we got calls immediately,” said Prior Lake police lt. Randy Hofstad.
The surveillance video quickly led to the thief’s identity. He is 32-year-old Shane Christopher Paige, who was wanted by the Department of Corrections on an outstanding arrest warrant. On Wednesday afternoon, Paige was arrested by Anoka police and is now being held in the Anoka County jail.
As police pursued their suspect, Bardon was busy collecting his four puppies. One-by-one, they were located in the north metro where they’d either been abandoned or in the care of acquaintances of Shane Paige.
“The third one was dropped off by an acquaintance to a woman’s house in Columbia Heights,” Hofstad said. “She heard the news story, and then she called her local police department and they contacted us.”
The first two puppies were found by a Brooklyn Center woman. They were wandering in the yard of an abandoned house. The fourth pup was found at an acquaintance’s house.
“I’m just happy to have the puppies back, whatever, it’s in the police hands now,” Bardon said.