Widower pay $10,000 for stolen pet

July 29, 2004 at 11:18 AM
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VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif., July 29 (UPI) -- It cost an 80-year-old California widower much of his life savings, but he got his beloved terrier back from some "mean-talking" dognappers.

Authorities were looking for the men who stole Sandy, the sole companion of retired Valley Springs Fire Warden Frank Compton and demanded $10,000 in cash for his return, the Los Angeles Times said.

Compton quickly noticed Sandy was gone last week because his 10-year-old pet never left the yard. Then, came the ransom phone call.

It took some doing, but he got the money together and drove to a remote spot along the Mokelumne River without alerting police, as instructed, where he was confronted by a man with a knife who grabbed the roll of $100 bills and fled.

There was no sign of the dog but hours later, he turned up at home, hungry but unharmed.

"You talk about miracles," Compton said, "that's what this was."

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