BETHESDA, Md. (WJZ) — A dog inside an SUV stolen from a parking garage at a mall in Montgomery County has been returned to his family and the alleged vehicle thief has been arrested, the county’s police department said.
According to police, surveillance video showed a man stealing the SUV, which was left running and unattended, from a parking garage at the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda on Tuesday night. The suspect, 24-year-old Malik Gillispie of Germantown, had reportedly been checking door handles of vehicles in the garage to see if any were unlocked.
On Wednesday afternoon, Gillispie took the dog named Joey to the Montgomery County Animal Services and Adoption Center, saying he was a stray. A worker recognized Joey from a social media post and noticed the vehicle Gillispie was driving matched the one that had been reported stolen, police said.
Officers responded to the center and arrested Gillispie for motor vehicle theft. Police said he was wearing the same clothing as in the surveillance video.