Safe and sound — and found! Thompy is back where he belongs!

The Brooklyn Paper
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Thompy’s home!

The beloved Cocker Spaniel who was swiped from outside a Boerum Hill deli last week was back with his family on Sunday after being stolen and sold on the street like hot watch.

“We had a very satisfying day,” said proud owner Jon Crawford-Phillips, who actually conducted a stakeout in Red Hook as the 12-day search for his best friend approached its dramatic climax.

“It was very therapeutic pulling down all the missing dog posters we had put up.”

The horror began on April 13 when Crawford-Phillips tied Thompy to a hook outside the State Street Gourmet Deli on Third Avenue.

He was inside the store for about 30 seconds, but when he returned, Thompy was gone.

Thompy — short for Thompson — could not have freed himself and run off, Crawford-Phillips said, so someone must have untied the leash.

Concerned neighbors — and we, too — publicized the dog-napping, and word spread quickly about Thompy’s disappearance.

“We got a number of calls about possible Thompy sightings, but they were very vague,” said Crawford-Phillips.

These calls brought both hope and despair to Crawford-Phillips and his wife — especially after rumors swirled that Thompy was the dead dog recovered from the lake at Prospect Park last Thursday morning.

But all speculation ended on Saturday evening when a Red Hook woman said she was sure she saw one of her neighbors walking Thompy.

The funny thing was that this neighbor never had a dog until just a few days earlier, the tipster said.

At 7 am on Sunday, Crawford-Phillips drove to where the caller had seen Thompy, and sat in his car, scanning the street.

Three-and-a-half hours later his heart almost leapt out of his chest; there was his beloved pooch padding down the street alongside his new “best friend.”

Crawford-Phillips contacted the police before approaching Thompy’s new charge, who said that he had bought the dog on the street 10 days earlier, but wouldn’t say where or for how much.

A quick visit to a nearby vet left nothing in doubt: Thompy’s chip identified Crawford-Phillips as the canine’s rightful owner.

Facing the truth, Thompy’s new “owners” had no choice but to bid their farewells to the brown and tan cocker.

“They looked after [Thompy] pretty well,” said Crawford-Phillips, who was ecstatic to have his dog back in his arms again.

The feeling, of course, was mutual.

“You could tell he was pleased to see me,” Crawford-Phillips explained, adding that after a victory lap around their courtyard on State Street and “a jump on the sofa,” Thompy was safe at home with his family as if he had never left.

“It had been 12 days, we were losing hope a bit,” said Crawford-Phillips, adding that he’s never going to leave Thompy alone on the street again.

“[My family and I] are going to be much more vigilant,” he said. “I already thought that we were being safe and careful, but we have to be more aware if there’s a guy out there trying to take dogs.”

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

John from Park Slope says:
A dog is miraculously re-united with its irresponsible owner and how this actually happened is not in the article.
Once again - no follow up from owner. Whoever stole and then handed-off the dog is never held accountable.
This dog owner is irresponsible for a second time now.
April 26, 2010, 9:19 am
Steven from Brooklyn Heights says:
John - way to bring nothing but negativity to a happy piece of news for a Monday morning.
April 26, 2010, 9:30 am
Laurie Bleier from Park Slope says:
Please print out this very important poster to alert people to the dangers of tying your dog outside a store.

Laurie Bleier
Brooklyn Animal Foster Network
April 26, 2010, 10:36 am from Boerum Hill says:
No words exchanged with the "buyer"? That person clearly saw the 400,000 Thompy posters around Brooklyn! They won't mention the price or where they got him? Sounds like that your thief right there!
April 26, 2010, 10:40 am
Dave from Clinton Hill says:
Great to hear a happy ending to this :)
Def do not tie up and leave your dogs outside a store alone
April 26, 2010, 11:34 am
woofwoof from warner says:
This is why I often wait outside with dogs who are tied outside stores, laundromats, etc--or go inside to find owner to warn them. There's been a huge number of dogs stolen in Williamsburg. People with dogs cannot be so trusting that strangers won't steal. I spoke to one gal who opened the door to her apartment to a man who grabbed her dog and ran off. Months later, the dog was still missing. Sad.
April 26, 2010, 1:21 pm
Linda from Carroll St. says:
I left my dog unattended once to buy a container of milk. I came out and someone had kicked him in his face,he was bleeding. I never left him alone after that day. People are always trying to steal small unattended dogs. It's a shame. I'm happy for you and your family. I'm sure Thompy glad to be back.
April 26, 2010, 8:01 pm
Frank from Park Slope says:
John, I hope I run into you so I can kick your teeth in. Keep cashing those unemployment checks you miserable neanderthal.
April 27, 2010, 12:36 pm
There is concern that a dog was taken, if the story is true, after being tied outside a deli for only 30 seconds.
Thompy and his owner must have been followed and targeted.
Crawford-Phillips and Frank from Park Slope should be looking for the "criminal" who took the unattended dog right from under its owner's nose.
Carelessness is no excuse and irresponsible owners are at fault, for the stress caused to their beloved pets.
April 28, 2010, 9:02 am
Carrie from Carroll Gardens says:
I've seen the posters around and am so glad to read he has been reunited with his owner - made my day!
April 28, 2010, 12:25 pm
Mimi from Carroll g says:
Most people who steal dogs don't want to keep the dog as a pet. The question here is who would buy a dog from a dude on the street? What was the story? And did the real owner pay the buyer back? Or was it all just left as it was?
I am just happy the dog wasn't sold for dog bait. I too watch after tied up little dogs. Happy ending regardless of mean comments.
April 28, 2010, 2:37 pm
Ron from Kensington says:
This is a waste of space in your newspapers. When you have an owner whose dog is stolen act responsibly, let us know.

The Brooklyn Paper could look into the reason why the owner did not file a police report immediately and what really happened over the past ten days. If not, please spare us any more dog stolen stories.
April 29, 2010, 10:17 am

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