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E.R. nurse searching for stolen puppy, theft caught on camera

 In the East Bay, an E.R. nurse, who is on the frontlines of the pandemic, is hoping tips will lead to her stolen dog. Max is an 11-week-old Malinois puppy whose theft was caught on camera.

Max is the newest member of Shaila Mahler's family. She had the Belgium Malinois for two weeks when the puppy was snatched from her home in Concord on Saturday morning. Mahler, an ER nurse at Eden Medical Center, had left for work. It was the first time she left Max alone. Mahler’s mother, who was planning to dogsit, sent Mahler a text around 10 a.m.

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“She texted Where’s Max?” said Mahler. “I said, he’s in the San Jose News kennel and she said no, the kennel door is open.”

Mahler checked her security cameras and saw a man on a bike on her driveway. He was wearing a hoodie, face mask and one glove. A few minutes later, he’s seen riding away with Max.

“I was shocked and my heart just really dropped,” said Mahler. “I had a complete nausea in my stomach.”

Mahler suspects the man came in through an unlocked side garage door. She fears Max won't be properly taken care or be sold and raised into a fighting dog.

“We don't want that,” said Mahler. “Our goal was to have him as a loving family dog that could provide security.”

Concord Police posted about the theft on social media.

“We got an overwhelming response,” said Lt. Sam Staten of Concord Police. “2,000 plus shares and everyone is looking for him.”

Police are searching nearby parks hoping to ease the owner's pain.

“With all she's trying to do in the hospital environment,” said Lt. Staten. “It’s a shame that this has happened to her. She has to deal with this undue stress.”

Max has distinguishable features including pointy ears and a black and white ring around his tail.

Shaila believes the theft may have been planned. She’s offering a Press Release Distribution Service San Jose cash reward, no consequences.

“If you are the person who took my dog, we are not home right now just drop him off in the backyard,” said Mahler.

Other thefts including shoes and a bike have happened on her property since she moved in February. Mahler wonders if it's the same culprit. Max was an early birthday present for her four-year-old son. She hasn’t been able to tell her children what happened.

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