California man charged after video footage shows him stealing dog through window of parked car

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A California man is facing charges after surveillance footage showed him taking a dog out of a parked car last week.

In a Facebook post, the Irvine Police Department said a small dog by the name of “Mookie” was stolen out of a car in the University Town Center parking lot on Friday, Sept. 16.

Detectives located surveillance video that showed a man walk up to the car on its rear passenger side, seemingly talk to the dog and then take the dog through an open window within 40 seconds.

The man in the video was later identified as 38-year-old Earl Choi, of Fullerton, California.

Police said Mookie’s owner posted about the incident on a pet recovery website.

Choi then made contact with the owner and reportedly said his roommate came home with a dog matching Mookie’s description, and he would return him for a small fee.

The owner agreed to meet with Choi to pick up the dog.

Once Choi arrived at the location with Mookie, officers arrested him and charged him with grand theft.

earl choi
Choi began interacting with the dog through the car before snatching it up.
(Irvine Police Department/Facebook)
Earl choi
“Mookie” was stolen out of the car in the University Town Center parking lot.
Irvine Police Department/Facebook

Irvine police said a happy Mookie was safely returned to his family.

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