After almost a month of fruitless investigation the 4-year-old Yorkshire Terrier taken from a Potrero Hill man’s vehicle has returned home.
As previously reported, Lola, a 4-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, was stolen around 3 p.m. on November 19 from Robert Runkle, who had parked on 14th Street between Castro and Noe streets to go in to Davies Medical Center for a brief medical appointment.
The thief broke the passenger side window of Runkle’s car and took the dog while leaving behind its collar and tags, according to his next-door neighbor, Tracy Moon, who was spearheading the effort to find Lola.
Lola has been Runkle’s “best friend and constant companion” and is registered with the city as a service animal to provide companionship as he undergoes dialysis for kidney disease and chemotherapy for lymphoma, Moon said.
“He’s devastated,” she said at the time of the incident.
“Last Saturday morning I had to say to myself, ‘She ain’t coming back,’ ” Runkle told the Chron. “God knows where she is. I just hope she’s being treated well.”
Moon and other neighbors posted flyers around the city asking for information about Lola’s whereabouts, and police spokesman Sgt. Mike Andraychak said investigators are also sought surveillance footage or other leads from businesses and residents in the area that may shed light on who stole the dog.
Moon offered a $3,000 reward for information leading to Lola’s safe return, which she said is well above what the dog would fetch in a black market purchase.
“Just say you found it at a park and bring it” to San Francisco Animal Care and Control, she said at the time of the theft. “I’d be thrilled if I’m lucky enough to give this money.”
We can only assume, then, that Moon was indeed thrilled on Saturday, when Runkle was reunited with Lola. As the Chron reports, an unidentified Oakland woman contacted saying she found a Yorkie roaming around Lake Merritt that might fit Lola’s description.
Moon arranged a meeting and notified police just in case anything were to happen. Sure enough, Moon was able to properly identify Lola. The dog was reunited with her owner later that day.
Moon told the Chron she has been criticized for offering such a high reward for Lola but $3,000 is a small price to pay for the happiness of a man facing so much.
“There are a lot of people who think I am a lunatic,” Moon said. “But Robert doesn’t.”