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ST. LOUIS – Fox 2 obtained shocking surveillance video of a hurtful crime in the Central West End.

The video shows three people stealing a puppy out of a woman’s backyard.   

The pup is a pit bull named Louie. His owner has been putting up missing posters around the city.

The video shows a woman in a gray hoodie with pink sleeves walking away with the 3-month-old Louie as if he was her own.

Louie’s owner is heartbroken and scared. She asked that we not reveal her identity.   

“It makes me so sad…he was little chunky, little fat dog. He’s a cute dog…(you’re) going to make me cry,” she said.

She let Louie out in the courtyard behind her apartment on North Sarah just south of Lindell to eat and go potty around 9:30 Thursday morning. She briefly stepped back inside her apartment.

The video shows the woman and two men lurking on Lindell then walking toward the courtyard; one of the men picks up Louie and hands him to the woman.   

They acted as if Louie was their dog, according to a passerby. They called him Tony.

“They were like, ‘daddy missed you  … don’t walk away.’ They played like it was their dog. They left with the dog and walked across the street,” Louie’s owner said.

“That shows you that these are probably folks that have done this sort of thing before or have engaged in criminal behavior before, to have thought it out enough to know to have a back story in case they get challenged,” said Jim Whyte, Executive Director of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative, the neighborhood’s private security force.  

“I just hope they find my dog because I really love my dog, like my son. I just hope they find him and he’s safe,” Louie’s owner said.   

Investigators suspect the trio sold Louie for quick cash. Crimestoppers (866) 371-TIPS is offering a reward for anonymous tips on the case.