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'We didn't quit.' How a stolen Dachshund made his way back to his family

Kaley Johnson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

The Phillips family was shaken but ecstatic after their 2-year-old dog that was stolen from their yard was returned to them after four stressful days.

"It was an empty feeling not having him there," Anthony Phillips said. "It was a scary experience. It was hard on my kids. It really sucked."

The Phillips' Dachshund, RJ, was taken from the family's yard on July 5. A couple is accused of stealing the dog while delivering Amazon packages in the neighborhood.

Mycah Keyona Wade, 22, of Crowley, now a former contract worker for Amazon, turned herself in July 16 and was charged with theft July 17. Her boyfriend, Devanta Lynn Mooring, 23, has warrants out for his arrest but was not in custody at this time.

Phillips said the community, law enforcement and police helped get RJ back to his family July 9.

When the family discovered RJ had been stolen, they reached out to neighbors and the community through Facebook. A landscaper working on a neighbor's house said he saw a man pick up RJ, and the man asked him what house the dog belonged to. The landscaper pointed at the Phillips house, but the man and a woman drove off with the dog, Phillips said.


Another neighbor had video of Mooring and Wade delivering packages, and the landscaper identified Mooring as the man he saw take RJ.

Phillips said the family had little hope of getting RJ back, especially after seeing a Craigslist post of someone selling RJ for $100. They watched as the price dropped to $70.

Phillips called the police, and investigator Ethan Stark took over the case. The men contacted Amazon, which identified Wade as one of their drivers two days later.

From there, Stark tracked Wade down and set up a meeting with her. She initially denied having the dog, but eventually brought RJ to a Lake Worth parking lot and gave him to Stark. Stark called Phillips and told him to open his email.


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