Mini goldendoodle
A mini-goldendoodle similar to the one stolen. Times of San Diego photo

After driving all night, a family from Utah reunited Friday with its beloved dog, stolen last week from a campground along Mission Bay.

The Grillo family had their joyful reunion in the morning with Chancho, their mini-goldendoodle, at the San Diego Police Department’s Northern Division station in University City.

A man suspected of stealing the pup from the recreational vehicle campground was arrested Thursday in National City.

The Grillo family of Utah was vacationing at Campland by the Bay on Aug. 2 when they noticed that Chancho was not in his crate outside their tent.

After they searched the nearby area the following morning and after later reviewing security footage, the family saw what appeared to be Chancho being led away on a leash by a man. They notified the San Diego Police Department, said Lt. Adam Sharki.

After reviewing hours of footage, detectives saw the man entering the park without a dog and then leaving with Chancho.

The suspect, Johnny Smith, 40, was arrested on Thursday and booked on felony theft charges, Sharki said.

The Grillos were “absolutely ecstatic” to get word from San Diego police that Chancho had been recovered, the family told CBS8.

– City News Service

Updated 5:50 p.m. Aug. 12, 2022