Kelly Spence thought she would never see her dog after it was stolen on Sunday.
"I thought Prince was gone for good," said Spence.
After KPLC aired her story, the Spence family got a call from a guy saying he had Prince and wanted the $500 reward. They chose to meet to exchange the dog for the money. Suspicious of the caller, Lake Charles Police were called to follow. Police would recover the dog and arrest the driver of the car on an unrelated outstanding warrant.
"The passenger claimed to have picked up the dog thinking the dog was a stray and he wanted a dog for his birthday. The stories just didn't add up," said Spence.
Not only were the stories of how they found Prince not adding up, but when the suspects returned him, he was wearing a collar with a price tag of $190. There was also a witness who had an entirely different story.
Sarah Wilson and her husband were walking near Iris and Louisiana Avenue when they witnessed three men in an older model black Cadillac try to lure Prince and Kelly's other dog, Coco, with dog food.
"They said we are trying to get these dogs for our neighbor. They're our neighbor's dogs," said Wilson. "I was asking them what the dog's names were and they told me the male's name was Rudy and the female was Betty."
Believing their story, Sarah gave them Prince, but the other dog ran off until she was cornered. Barking and snapping at Sarah and the three men - no one was picking her up.
"I kept saying give me the other dog to calm her down. She's scared because her companion has been taken. They just kept saying, we'll be right back. We're going to get the owner to come get Betty to help calm her down," said Wilson.
Wilson would wait a good 15 minutes, but the men never came back. The police would eventually find Sarah with the dog. By that time, Sarah realized she had been deceived.
"It's frightening because it's a pretty sad person that steals, but not only steals a dog, but the three of them string a story and lie and then seem to think they are entitled to something. It's beyond me," said Wilson.
With the investigation still underway, Spence is happy to have Prince back and unharmed.
"He's our family. He's part of our family," said Spence.
At this time, no one has been charged with anything relating to the dog. Meanwhile, both Spence and Wilson encourage other pet owners to put a collar and microchip their pets with up-to-date information.
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