A St. Cloud woman whom deputies say claimed she "rescued" two dogs from a homeowner's garage, then left the owner a hand-written note to arrange their return, was arrested Monday on grand theft and burglary charges.
Nicole Moses, 29, was booked in the Osceola County Jail.
If only dogs could talk, Mia the 9-month-old pit bull and Max the 18-month-old black Labrador would have quite the tale to tell. When their owner came home Saturday afternoon, the dogs were gone and he was upset.
"We need them. They need us," said Brian.
He thought maybe they had gotten loose from his garage, until his neighbor stopped by to tell him she had seen something odd -- a woman she had never seen before, circling this house and taking pictures and video on her cell phone.
"I knew something was going on when she put the dogs in her van," said Melissa Guimond, Brian's neighbor.
Guimond said she and her husband questioned the strange woman, who claimed to be from animal control. Guimond was suspicious, because she said the woman was driving a dark, blue Ford Explorer with Vermont tags.
"She did say there was no food and water in there, but when the guy got home that evening we went over there to tell him what was going on and they did have food and water in there. I'm not sure how she even knew they were in there," said Melissa.
Brian wondered that too, so he checked with animal control. "They say there are no records of our dogs in the facility," said Brian.
Adding to the bizarre string of events, two days later he found a handwritten note in purple in black ink on green construction paper on his garage door. "Stating, 'Text me. Dogs been found and she put her telephone number on it,'" said Brian.
He said he first called the sheriffs office, then texted the number on the note. Brian said it turned out that the woman didn't want his dogs, she wanted $2,000 in cash. "She made an appointment to meet and we met her right at the spot."
Deputies saw a woman and a car with Vermont tags, matching the description the neighbor had given to them. A spokesperson from the Osceola County Sheriffs Office said deputies pulled the woman over, questioned her, took possession of the dogs, then arrested her.
Moses is charged with burglary and grand theft of dogs. During the traffic stop, deputies said Moses told them she had "rescued" the dogs, which were later found at her home.
Brian said his dogs are okay. He said he noticed they were very hungry and thirsty when he got them home.