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Tuesday, Apr 24, 2018
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Police arrest suspect in St. Pete puppy snatching

St. Petersburg police on Saturday charged a suspect seen on surveillance video stealing a Chihuahua puppy from a pet store.

Police arrested Mark Clearman, 35, without incident. He is charged with two counts of grand theft and is being held on $10,000 bond at the Pinellas County Jail.

The puppy has yet to be located, police say.

The video showed the suspect entering the Animal House Pet Center, 950 34th St. N., with a backpack on Feb. 26 around 2 p.m.

Police say Clearman loitered in the store for about 15 minutes before walking to the area where the puppy, an unnamed, 10-week-old, 2-pound, gray female Chihuahua with tan paws, was in an open cage.

A customer witnessed Clearman putting the puppy in his backpack and quickly leaving the store, police say. The witness told a store employee, and the assistant manager called police.

Anyone with information about the missing puppy is asked to call Detective Holly Hadrika at (727) 551-3142 or the Economic Crimes/Forgery Unit at (727) 893-7610.

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