Woman wanted for stealing pricey pooch arrested, PBSO says

Stolen teacup Yorkie worth $4,500
Posted at 10:35 PM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-01 00:04:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A woman wanted for stealing a pricey pooch from a local pet store in West Palm Beach has been arrested by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Melissa Strong, 43, is facing a felony charge after investigators said she walked in and asked to see small dogs, and then ran out with an 8-week-old teacup Yorkie worth $4,500.

It happened Thursday afternoon at Star Pups Inc. on Okeechobee Boulevard.

"She came in, it was a regular customer retail interaction and she just saw an opportunity and she took it," said employee, Sherwin Dickerson. "By the time I came back out she was sitting in her car and was telling 'her no, give me my dog,' she made a beeline out of the parking lot."

Deputies said they found Strong with the help of surveillance video which captured her California license plate.

Strong was charged with Grand Theft.

Editor’s Note: According to the court docket, on Oct. 29, 2022, Melissa Strong pleaded not guilty. On Oct.19, 2023, the State Attorney’s Office dropped the case against her after informing the Palm Beach County Circuit Court that she had successfully completed the terms of a Pretrial Intervention Agreement.