Police seek help in strange case of 'dognapping,' Craigslist 'hit' ads

This is the puppy that was the focus of the alleged Craigslist 'hit' ads. (Photo: Seattle Police Dept.)

SEATTLE -- Robbery detectives are looking for a man suspected of an attempted 'dognapping' -- which, police say, is likely tied to Craigslist ads offering $100 to anyone who can get this particular pooch from its new owner.

The Craigslist ads were posted by the dog's previous owner, police said Friday.

This began on June 2, when a man was walking his small puppy near 23rd Avenue and E. James Street in Seattle. A suspect walked up to him, bent over and began petting the puppy. The suspect quickly released the puppy's collar clip, picked up the animal and ran off. The victim chased the man, tackled him and wrestled the dog away from the would-be thief, who fled, police said.

The victim, who suffered cuts to his hands and arms in the attack, reported the incident to Seattle police, and then called later to say he had found ads on Craigslist offering $100 to anyone who could bring this dog to the ad poster.

The victim told police he believed the $100 'hit' was posted by a woman who had given the dog to him but then later wanted the pooch back after the victim had already paid to vaccinate, license and feed the puppy.

Police said officers contacted the woman and that she admitted to posting the ads, but said she never intended for anyone to attack the victim and that she simply wanted her dog back.

Robbery detectives found some photos of the suspected dognapper and describe him as a white man, 25 to 35 years of age, about 6-foot, with dark, shagging hair. He was last seen wearing large, dark glasses and possibly a Dick's Drive-In commemorative Seahawks T-shirt and Sonics cap.

Police asks that if anyone recognizes him to call police at 206-684-5535.

These photos are of the suspected attempted dognapper, police say. (Photos: Seattle Police Dept.)