A Florida man is facing charges after getting caught on video stealing a puppy to exchange for drugs and cash.
Largo Police report that 38-year-old Wayne Junior Barfield stole a $1,600 Yorkshire terrier from a local kennel, All About Puppies. He was caught on surveillance cameras as he stuffed the nine-week-old dog into his shirt to exchange for crack cocaine and cash. According to KTVI News, the deal reportedly occurred in broad daylight in the parking lot near a busy Dunkin' Donuts and a supermarket.
Before the incident on January 12, Barfield asked the kennel manager, Bridget Royal, a few questions about the dog. At the time, Royal was taking pictures of the puppy for a potential buyer, so she told him how much the dog was worth.
Moments after, Barfield escaped with the two-pound Yorkie. The alleged drug deal took place later that day.
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“I was disgusted,” recalled Royal. “I ranted on Facebook. I was like, how could someone sell a little puppy for drugs?”
“The guy had a driver waiting for him,” wrote someone on the All About Puppies in Largo Facebook page. “He parked farther down the parking lot. White four door truck. The driver was also a guy. The man literally ran to the truck once he was out of the store.”
On January 15, police apprehended Barfield and charged him with grand theft, resisting an officer, and not having a valid license. However, the dog is nowhere to be found, and Barfield will not reveal to whom he gave the stolen puppy.
Royal is concerned for the dog’s health, particularly because it is young.
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"Our smaller dogs need to have special care,” Royal explained to The Tampa Bay Times. “Assistant managers usually take them home at night because they need to be fed every four to five hours. If she's not cared for, she could die."
The dog has a microchip, and the chip information is updated as stolen in both state and national computer databases. If the dog is taken to a veterinarian, the microchip will alert the doctor to its stolen status, according to police. Nevertheless, the chip does not have GPS capabilities, so the dog cannot be tracked down using the chip technology.