LEONIA, N.J. -- A 2-year-old Maltese stolen during a Tinder date in Leonia was reunited with her owner, thanks in part to Daily Voice, police said Wednesday.
The homeowner's 18-year-old dog sitter invited the man she'd met on Tinder over Sunday night while the owner was in South Carolina, Capt. Scott Tamagny said.
He brought a friend, the captain said.
"While the house sitter was distracted by one of the subjects, the other was alone in the house," he said.
After they left, she found Maggie missing -- along with a laptop and a package from Amazon.
Then came a break.
Elena Ramirez was at her Garfield home on Tuesday when her brother called her from the street.
Maggie had just run out from a neighbor's backyard, he told her.
"He couldn't catch her, so I came downstairs and used my dog, Hershey, as bait," Ramirez told Daily Voice. "He's a Yorkie poodle who's seven years old.
"As soon as she saw my dog, she ran right over to him. I grabbed her right then and there. I carried her to my porch and gave her water."
Then she brought Maggie to Garfield police headquarters.
"That poor little thing -- she' so tiny,' Ramirez said. "What if a car would've run her over?"
An editor at Daily Voice spotted Maggie's picture in a Facebook post on Samantha Palino's "Bergen NJ Lost and Found Pets."
He called Leonia police.
Detectives contacted the owner, who'd already returned from vacation after learning that Maggie had been taken, Tamagny said.
Lysa DeLaurentis, Garfield's animal control officer, brought Maggie to Leonia for Wednesday's happy reunion.
The owner declined to be interviewed.
Leonia police have identified the two men involved and were continuing their investigation, Tamagny said. Authorities determined that the sitter wasn't involved, he added.
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