Police: Duo Buys Dog With Parishioner’s Stolen Credit Card

Talk about barking mad.

Montgomery County Police say two brazen thieves bought a puppy with a credit card they stole from a church parking lot, and then took the dog on a shopping spree funded by the same ill-gotten gains.

Authorities say a man and woman broke into a car in the parking lot of St. Jane Frances de Chantel Catholic Church at 9601 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda, Md., on Aug. 11 sometime after noon.

The thieves snatched a purse inside the vehicle, which contained credit cards belonging to a 60-year-old woman who was attending a church service at the time.

"They took my purse, which had my wallet, credit cards, my mother's silver rosary...." said the victim, who asked that her name not be used. "By 12:39, they had charged $1,300 at a place called Just Puppies."

The thieves doctored the victim's driver's license, keeping the victim's information but the female suspect's picture.They used the license and one of the stolen credit cards to buy a three-month-old Yorkshire Terrier from the Just Puppies store in the Twinbrook Shopping Center in Rockville, investigators said.

Security video shows employees of the store helping the suspects view the puppies, and select the one-and-a-half-pound Yorkie.

The employees didn't know the credit card was stolen.

The duo then went on a shopping spree at the Nordstrom in Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Police say surveillance video shows the male suspect holding the puppy as they completed a transaction.

The victim says the frustrating experience has taught her a lesson. "I don't leave my purse in the car, and I tell all my friends not to," she said.

In all, police say the two charged $4,100 to the victim's credit card.

The investigation has stalled since August, and police would like to hear from anyone who knows the couple in the videotape.

If you recognize the suspects in the surveillance video below, call police at Crime Solvers of Montgomery County at 1-866-411-8477. 

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