Long Island

Couple Arrested for Christmastime Theft of Dog From NY Yard

Detectives believe they have the couple responsible for the week-long disappearance of a Long Island family's dog

The case of a former missing Long Island dog returned minutes before the Christmas holiday may finally be all tied up.

Suffolk County SPCA said two people were arrested Sunday for their involvement in the theft of Bella, an 11-year-old Shih Tzu who disappeared last December.

Bella's family had reported her missing after she was last seen in the yard of their Ronkonkoma home December 18. Officials said a SPCA detective was able to locate the dog almost one week later and return her to the family "just minutes before midnight on Christmas Eve."

The circumstances around Bella's disappearance attracted scrutiny after an initial anonymous tip claimed she was picked up by an unknown jogger. This tip proved false, Chief of Suffolk SPCA Roy Gross said.

Since December, detectives continued their investigation and uncovered enough evidence to arrest two suspects deemed responsible for Bella's disappearance.

James Zweidinger and Crystal Fass of Massapequa were taken into custody and subsequently charged with larceny for their alleged involvement.

Attorney information for the couple was not immediately known.

Copyright NBC New York
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