Angel comes home after being snatched in frightening theft  

Angel comes home after being snatched in frightening theft  
Brendan Rees

A much-loved family pet has been reunited with her owner after being taken from outside a Docklands restaurant on November 5.

Angel, a five-year-old Shih Tzu, was secured to a pole on Bourke St outside a restaurant before she was brazenly snatched at around 8.30pm.

Police launched a public campaign into the theft with Melbourne West police releasing CCTV and images of a man they hoped could assist with their enquiries.

In a stroke of luck, police confirmed Angel had been returned to her owner by a third party on November 11 at around 7pm.

The offender, however, remained at large with police investigating. The man is perceived to be Indian subcontinental in appearance with black curly hair and a black beard.

“He was wearing a bandanna as a headband and a black long-sleeve polo top with a white stripe on the collar over a white shirt and light jeans with large horizontal rips across the knees, and sneakers,” a police spokesperson said.

Among those to help find Angel was Docklands resident and dog owner Ayda Hornak who said she cried after learning of the incident.

“I was in tears, I thought if that was my dog, what would I’ve done. I watched the footage, and I was just horrified, it really disturbed me,” she said.

Ms Hornak said she, along with dozens of other community members, shared the CCTV from police with community groups on social media.

“We were all so relieved,” Ms Hornak said upon hearing the news Angel had been found, but added the theft was a reminder for all pet owners to keep their dogs safe in public. 


“We see on the news constantly and social media that there is a big black market selling stolen dogs. Everyone knows about it, and owners need to be more diligent and make sure that their dogs are safe,” she said.


Ms Hornak said she never left her dog alone and if she was refused entry to a shop she wouldn’t enter “because there’s no way I’m leaving him outside”.

Ms Hornak, who runs PetWell, said her business had team up with RES by Mirvac in running community-based pet education sessions to share valuable tips around responsible pet ownership, pet care, behavioural training, health and nutrition tips for pets, as well as offering tips around myotherapy for pets and more.   

“We have a network of qualified pet professionals who deliver these valuable tips. Our next session is in the first week oof February. For more details on the event simply email us at [email protected] and we will keep you in the loop,” she said. 

Pet professionals wishing to share tips on how to maintain a healthy and happy pooch, can register their interest at

Anyone with information about the theft of Angel is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report online at

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