A couple in Dowling say someone attempted to steal a dog out of their front yard — and they're warning others to keep an eye out.
Pierre Fortin, who was babysitting his friend's seven-pound yorkie poo named Mocha, said three men in a silver car pulled up to his front yard.
They were concealed behind a large shrub, and a man jumped out.
"And he was … inviting the dog towards him,” Fortin said.
“[He was] calling him out, 'Come here, come here,' … towards the road with water, trying to get it into the open door of the car."
The little dog had already hopped into the car when Fortin ran over. He called the dog back, and asked the men what they were doing.
They said they were lost, asked for directions, and then drove off.
Fortin called police.
Small and 'easy to take'
Fortin's girlfriend Adriana Morin said she thinks the men were stealing the dog to sell it online.
"You just look on the lost and found sites, there are a lot of toy breeds that are going missing,” she said.
“They're small and they're easy to just take."
Rainbow District Animal Control manager Richard Paquette said people call his organization on a weekly basis thinking their pet has been stolen.
“In fact it's been lost and either impounded by animal control or at someone's home or residence."
Paquette said this is likely an isolated incident.
Fortin said the incident “really shook him up.”
“It didn't click that he was doing that until they drove off and they kept looking back at me, you know? [They were] nervously looking back at me,” he said.
"It really hit home when I thought about having to make that phone call to my best friend.”