“We’re so relieved to have him back with us,” said Danny Morales, the dog’s owner. “I just can’t believe that he was returned to us totally unharmed, too.”
On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He left Nutty in the car with the engine on while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.
When he returned, the car, along with Nutty, was gone.
“It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it,” Morales said on Friday.
Morales and his girlfriend Diana Oh spread flyers with a $1,000 reward, and even created a Facebook page to alert people in the neighborhood.
But the search ended on Saturday when police reunited the owners with their dog at the 113th Precinct. The Bayside couple discovered that Nutty had been on a crime adventure over the last few days.
Morales said he received a phone called at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning from a woman claiming to be the dognapper’s mother.
“This woman called me and you could tell she was in tears and she said that her son had taken Nutty,” Morales said. “She kept apologizing and said her son was troubled.”
The mother told Morales that her son, a 19-year-old, had stolen several cars recently.
Police couldn’t be reached for comment, but Morales said that the dog was found in the driver’s seat of another stolen car. The driver, the 19-year-old son, was arrested along with his alleged girlfriend. Authorities found Morales’ identification card and credit cards in the girlfriend’s wallet.
“That’s when the cops realized that Nutty wasn’t just some dog,” he said. “It turns out that he took Nutty with him on all these car thefts.”
Morales and Oh celebrated on Saturday with family and friends. They took the dog to the veterinarian, who found nothing wrong with Nutty.
“He’s acting a little weird but then again, he’s always been an oddball,” Morales said.