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Police: Man traded stolen $1,600 puppy for crack cocaine

By Ben Hooper
Police: Man traded stolen $1,600 puppy for crack cocaine
A Yorkie puppy. Photo by Chiyacat/Shutterstock.com

LARGO, Fla., Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida said they have recovered a $1,600 puppy stolen from a pet store before being traded by the alleged thief for cash and crack cocaine.

Largo Police said Wayne Junior Barfield, 38, stole a $1,600 Yorkshire terrier puppy Jan. 12 from the All About Puppies store in Largo by stuffing the small canine down his shirt.

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Barfield was identified from surveillance footage two days after the theft and the suspect was arrested.

Police said Barfield had traded the puppy for crack cocaine and an undisclosed amount of cash, but he refused to name the other person involved in the deal.

The store offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the puppy's return.

"Our smaller dogs need to have special care. Assistant managers usually take them home at night because they need to be fed every four to five hours," Bridget Royal, kennel manager at All About Puppies, told the Tampa Bay Times.

"If she's not cared for, she could die."

Police said Wednesday morning the puppy was located when veterinarians at a St. Petersburg animal hospital scanned its microchip.

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Barfield was charged with grand theft.

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