A Main Road department store was the scene of a “shoplifting” with a difference last week when the culprit turned out to have four legs and a wagging tail.
Staff at AP Jones were astonished when Daisy, a 7-year-old white Labrador, strolled into the shop, sniffed around, picked a pink mohair blanket and made a run for it.
Store manager Nick Jennings says Daisy got into the store through the automated doors at the back entrance in First Avenue.
In-store security footage on Tuesday July 6 shows the doors opening, Daisy entering and sniffing around. She then walks over to a wooden rack, where blankets and slippers are displayed, picks up the blanket and casually strolls off towards the doors.
Shop assistant Muriel Harper heard the doors open, and when she turned around to see who had entered the shop, there was no one.
“I then realised it was a dog. She was very friendly and wagging her tail. She went straight to the rack where the blankets were displayed and picked the pink one. She has good taste. She walked over to the doors and patiently waited for it to open,” she said, laughing.
Mr Jennings chased after Daisy as she left the store and stopped her on the pavement.
“She was very excited about the blanket and wouldn’t let go, so I gently stroked her back, and Muriel took the blanket from her,” Mr Jennings said.
Manu Choudree, from Business Improvement District (BID) security, said he had been alerted to a robbery in progress at AP Jones and the suspect getting away on First Avenue.
“We were very surprised to see it was a dog,” he said.
He took a photo of the dog and posted it on the BID security WhatsApp group, and Daisy’s owner, Ryan Laubscher, who is on the group, recognised her.
Mr Laubscher said Daisy had accidentally got out of his Second Avenue home. He wasn’t at home when he saw the message on WhatsApp, so he asked a friend to go to AP Jones to make sure it was Daisy.
“When I heard she had taken a blanket, it definitely sounded like Daisy. She loves her blankets and carries them outside. It is exactly something she will do. She is a very mischievous dog,” he said.
Mr Choudree said Daisy was safely reunited with her owner and was back in “custody”.
Mr Jennings said it was the first time this had happened, and they all had a good laugh about it.