Dog stolen while inside family’s car found safe

Tess, a Goldendoodle, was missing for almost a week.
Published: Feb. 14, 2023 at 3:53 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A dog stolen nearly a week ago while inside a car in Illinois has been found safe in Alabama, according to its owners.

Tess, a Goldendoodle, is being cared for by animal control after being found walking along an interstate near Greenville, Alabama, with the man who took her and her family’s car, said her owner’s daughter Casey Miles. Authorities checked Tess’ rabies tag and microchip to confirm the dog found was indeed Tess.

Tess was inside a white 2007 Lincoln Navigator when it was stolen out of Mansfield, Illinois, on Feb. 8 by an unknown suspect, according to the Piatt County Sheriff’s Office.

The SUV was recovered in Nashville on Feb. 9 without the suspect nor Tess, according to police. The stolen vehicle had reportedly crashed into a light pole on Edmondson Pike near Cloverland Drive and was found abandoned, according to Metro Nashville Police.

Miles said the vehicle was stolen while her mother Tammie was volunteering at their local American Legion. She went back inside to clean up a mess while Tess stayed in the vehicle, which was left running and unlocked. While cleaning, someone ran inside alerting Tammie that her car and Tess had just been stolen.

Tammie’s purse and phone were left inside the vehicle but have since been recovered. According to Miles, the suspect took the cash out of the purse and threw everything else out of the window. Miles’ father, John, traveled from Illinois to Nashville to search for the missing dog.

Tess’ family is headed to Alabama Tuesday afternoon to retrieve the dog. Miles has been told a man is in custody in connection to the theft.