A woman trying to find the owner of a lost dog had her car stolen, with her own dog inside, on Wednesday near the border of Vancouver’s Harney Heights neighborhood.
The theft occurred while Gail Krueger was in the process of placing a poster at 16th Street and Grand Avenue for the lost dog she had found the day prior, she said. She parked her car and set the emergency brake, tossing the car keys between the front seats because her hands were full.
As she was posting the notice, an older, brown-colored sedan pulled up behind her green 2003 Subaru Legacy. A man exited the vehicle and jumped into hers; the two cars sped off together, Krueger said.
Krueger’s 3-year-old Australian shepherd, Drew, was in a crate in the back of her Subaru.
“(She) was just 50 feet from her car when the thief jumped in and drove off,” said John Prevost, Krueger’s boyfriend.
Krueger said it’s likely the car thief did not know he was taking off with Drew. She made eye contact with the man as he drove away; she was terrified, she said.
Vancouver police Officer Zach Allred responded and put out a stolen car alert. He advised the couple to use social media to help locate Drew and the car, and to warn the public about the brazen car theft.
Krueger’s purse, wallet and cellphone were also in the Subaru, and within a half-hour of the car theft, some food from the Taco Bell at Fourth Plain Boulevard and General Anderson Avenue was charged to her card.
Allred, who the couple commended for his prompt response and assistance, told them he’d attempt to get a photo from the restaurant’s security camera, Prevost said.
Krueger has had Drew since he was about 6 months old. He was born on Christmas day 2016, she said.
Drew has an identification chip, but he wasn’t wearing a collar with tags, Prevost said. The dog was wearing a sheepherding collar, which he’d been getting lessons for at a local farm in Battle Ground, Krueger said.
Prevost said Drew is not neutered, because he’s registered with the American Kennel Club as a purebred dog, and had been tested for stud service. Drew is “quite friendly with an extremely loud bark, when he does bark,” he said.
Krueger is a “rescue dog person,” and she’d found a small dog Tuesday wandering in the neighborhood where her car was stolen, Prevost said. Krueger said the little dog looked lost, and fearing it would be hit by a car, she brought it home. On Thursday afternoon, Krueger was able to reunite the dog, whose name she learned is Halie, with its owner.
Krueger said she hopes to have the same outcome with Drew.
“I’m hoping it happens. I just hope he’s OK. I don’t care (about the Subaru or belongings). I just want my dog back, no questions asked,” she said.
Vancouver police Sgt. Kathy McNicholas said the suspect and dog had not been located as of Thursday afternoon. McNicholas said police are continuing to investigate.