Missing Dogs Held for Ransom

Suspect caught in police sting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Montgomery County Police
    Najie Walker

    Montgomery County police used a sting operation to catch a suspect in "dog-napping" caper.

    Montgomery County police got pretty creative to catch an alleged "dog-napper."

    The drama began Feb. 14 when officers went to a home in the 12000 block of Bronzegate Place in Silver Spring, Md., to investigate a theft.

    Ransom Demands for Missing Dogs; Suspect Arrested

    [DC] Ransom Demands for Missing Dogs;  Suspect Arrested
    Montgomery County Police use undercover sting to catch an alleged dognapper.

    The victim said her two dogs -- Scooby and Scrappy -- had escaped from the home and were loose in the neighborhood. Things got a little more serious when she told officers that a man who said his name was Matt called her a short time after the animals ran off and demanded money for their safe return.

    Matt told the woman to meet him at the T.G.I. Friday's restaurant on Tech Road and give him the money. She went there, but the guy didn't show up. That's when she called police.

    While driving to the victim's home, authorities spotted Scooby dead on the side of a road, apparently struck by a car. But the suspect had not given up. He contacted the victim several times and demanded $300 for Scrappy's safe return. 

    Officers then decided to set up a sting operation to nab him. 

    One of the officers posed as the victim's cousin and agreed to meet Matt at Route 29 and Tech Road to exchange the dog for cash. When the officers arrived at the scene, the suspect called again and said he was in the McDonald's on Cherry Hill Road. After a short foot chase, the suspect was found hiding in a bathroom stall at a nearby Friendly's.

    The suspect told the officers that Scrappy was in his sister's car, which was parked in a nearby parking lot. Officers found the vehicle and Scrappy. He was unharmed and was reunited with his owner.

    Matt was later identified as 21-year-old Najie Shabay Walker, of Silver Spring. He was charged with theft. Additional charges are pending, police said.

    Walker's being held on $1,500 bond.