By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A dog owner thought his beloved pet had run away — until he checked his surveillance cameras.

That is when Steve Woodrich saw a man at the edge of his backyard in south Minneapolis, trying to coax the dog, named Ellie, toward him.

Seconds later, the man walks in, grabs the pet and takes off down the alley with another person.

“[Ellie’s] the love of my life,” Woodrich said.

He has been trying to keep himself busy with yardwork, but his dog remains on his mind.

“I miss her,” he said. It’s tough.”

Last week when Woodrich was out running errands, his surveillance cameras caught someone approaching his back gate and coaxing his dog. It was in broad daylight at about 7:45 p.m.

The man lunges towards Ellie, but the dog jumps away and eventually retreats deeper in to the yard.

The man then follows the dog into the yard and grabs it. As he escapes, another person appears on camera near the back gate before both of them run off down the alley.

“[Ellie’s] really important to me and I’ll give everything I have to get my girl back,” Woodrich said.

Neighbors like Kara Erickson who heard the story on social media have been quick to help. She stopped by the home Wednesday to check on Woodrich.

“I would like to you know I can help hand out some flyers in my neighborhood,” Erickson said.

But reminders of Ellie surround Woodrich.

“I go in [the house] and I see her stuffed animals and stuff, and I have to put her food dish away because I kept going by it,” he said.

Woodrich plans to leave his back gate open, hoping If Ellie escapes she will come running home. He hopes the surveillance footage at the very least will help catch the thieves.

Woodrich lives in Minneapolis’ Powderhorn neighborhood. He has asked nearby businesses to check their surveillance cameras to see if they caught the thieves entering or exiting the alley.

Ellie is a Chihuahua and Dachshund mix who has a black coat with brown sections.

Anyone who thinks they might have seen his dog or the thieves is asked to call the police at 612-692-8477.

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