A man suspected of stealing a goldendoodle from a vacationing Utah family at a recreational vehicle campground near Mission Bay was arrested Thursday in National City.

The Grillo family of Utah was vacationing at Campland by the Bay on Aug. 2 when they noticed their Goldendoodle Chancho was not in his crate outside of their tent.

After they searched for their pet in the nearby area the following morning and after later reviewing security footage, the family saw what appeared to be Chancho being led away on a leash by a man and notified the San Diego Police Department, said Lt. Adam Sharki.

After reviewing hours of footage, detectives saw the man entering the park without a dog and then leaving with Chancho.

The suspect, 40-year-old Johnny Smith, was arrested on Thursday in National City and booked on felony theft charges, Sharki said.

Police plan to reunite Chancho with his family, who are driving to San Diego from Utah, Friday morning.

–City News Service


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Ellen Bullock