A New York family said their dog is back home safe thanks to a stranger who paid $220 to the suspected thieves.
Angie Estrada and her daughter Mia Bendrat, 7, said they were overjoyed to have Marley, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, back at home Tuesday after he was stolen from in front of a grocery store Monday, the New York Post reported Wednesday.
"It's a Christmas miracle. Oh, yes!" Estrada said.
The family said their holiday cheer is thanks to a stranger, Tena Cohen.
Cohen said she was walking near the Greenmarket store around 1:30 p.m. Monday when she heard a man shouting, "Dog for sale."
She said a second man identified by the first as the "owner" appeared "very stoned, on drugs."
"He said he paid $3,200 for the dog, and had it for years," Cohen said.
She said she went to a nearby Staples, made $220 worth of debit card purchases and then returned the items for cash so she could buy the dog.
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A veterinarian kept the dog overnight while Cavalier Rescue USA, a rescue group contacted by Cohen, got in touch with Estrada and arranged for the dog to be returned.
"This was my daughter's Christmas wish," Estrada said.
Police said they arrested Brad Bacon, 29, Tuesday night on charges of grand larceny and possession of stolen property.