Monday, February 14, 2011

Police Use Bus Camera Video to Catch Dog Napper

It wasn’t quite a dog day afternoon, but one Toronto senior is glad his canine hostage crisis has come to an end.

Retired engineer John Hildon, 84, curled up in his favourite recliner Sunday with Goldie laying across his lap as the pair spent the day together following a bizarre dognapping on Friday night.

“I was taking Goldie for a walk...on Ellesmere (Rd.) going towards Victoria Park (Ave.),” said Hildon. “This guy ... looked down (at the dog) and said, ‘Who’s dog is this?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know,’ jokingly. So, this guy grabs the dog.”

Hildon, who lives near Ellesmere and Victoria Park, said the man ran across the street against a red light with his eight-year old Bichon Frise in his arms and jumped on a bus.

Hildon said he called Toronto police when he got home but thought the dog was gone forever.

Detectives were assigned to the case and used the cameras on the bus the alleged suspect boarded to track down the missing mutt, according to Hildon.

Hildon said he endured a gruelling 24-hours as the fate his cuddly companion remained uncertain.

It wasn’t until officers brought Goldie home Saturday night that he could relax.

“It was one of the happiest moments of my life,” Hildon said with tears in his eyes. “When I saw the (police) coming to the door with him I couldn’t believe it.”

Goldie was rewarded with a pork chop dinner and plenty of affection from Hildon.

Hildon said that while he will continue to walk his dog along the same route, he did learn a valuable lesson.

“I’m gonna keep him on a six-foot leash now,” he said with a laugh.

A 36-year old Toronto man has been charged with theft and possession of stolen property, according to police.