Yogi has been reunited with his owner. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER

Reunited with owner after dog-napping

ELISA VORSTER
elisa.vorster@age.co.nz

After a stressful seven days of separation, Anne-Maree Lynch has been reunited with her stolen dog, Yogi.

Ms Lynch had only been living in Masterton for three weeks when her car, containing her 16-year-old pet, was stolen from her Gordon St home on May 6.

Making matters worse, her house was burgled four days later, leaving her missing her most treasured jewellery and family heirlooms.

Things started to look up on Saturday night when Ms Lynch’s neighbour spotted her stolen car, just two streets away from her house.

“I phoned the police straight away and they dispatched a car pretty quickly.”

What followed was a high-speed car chase from Masterton to Carterton, resulting in two people being arrested.

Senior Sergeant Mike Sutton said police dispatched several units on Saturday night after receiving the call about the sighting in Lansdowne.

“The driver fled so we spiked the vehicle south of Masterton, near Waingawa,” Mr Sutton said.

“The driver continued on, so the vehicle was spiked again in Carterton.

“The tyres were deflated and they were driving on the rims, but they were still evading police.”

Eventually police blocked the vehicle and two 33-year-old females were arrested.

Both appeared in court on Monday and were remanded in custody on charges relating to the theft of Ms Lynch’s vehicle and a police pursuit.

One of the suspects was also remanded on charges relating to the house burglary.

Mr Sutton confirmed police had searched an address linked to the female suspects but were unable to find any of Ms Lynch’s property.

He believed her dog had been found by council dog rangers on Saturday evening.

Ms Lynch contacted the pound on Sunday and was told a small dog was found around Dee Pl on Saturday night.

“As soon as I got there and saw his ear I knew it was him.

“He cried and cried, the way dogs cry – he was so happy to see me.” She said she had to bath Yogi as he was “filthy” and took him to the vet on Monday as he had lost weight, had a weepy eye and was missing a claw.

Ms Lynch was upset when she went to view her recovered vehicle as she found Yogi’s lead inside, which had previously been stored inside her laundry room.

“They obviously had the intention of taking him,” she said.

She said the police investigation into the burglary was ongoing, but two items found inside her car were from the safe which was stolen from her house, including a lock of hair from her son’s first haircut.

“You just can’t replace those things.”

Ms Lynch said she was thankful to Masterton police and everyone in the community who had shared Yogi’s photo on social media.

“No words can describe how thankful I am to the community who rallied around.”