UPDATE: Man tries to get money from woman after stealing her dog - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

UPDATE: Man tries to get money from woman after stealing her dog

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Madison, WI (WKOW) - -

After a man takes a woman's dog, Madison police set up a sting to get her back home safe.

Kjerstin Goggin got quite a scare when she was working Monday night near East Towne Mall. As a realtor with Century 21, she often works late hours and brings her dogs in to keep her company. Around 11 p.m., she decided to take her two puppies and her 13-year-old yorkie Sasha home.

"I just went out to to the back door, there's some grass, I let them do their business and I put them in the car," Goggin said. "The puppies went first, I picked them up, put them in my car. I turned around and didn't see Sasha."

She searched the area and couldn't find Sasha. Minutes later, she got a call from a man claiming her dog caused a bad crash on East Washington Avenue. They had several phone conversations and Goggin says the man changed his story multiple times, eventually demanding $100 to fix his brakes. She offered to compensate him if he could get her an estimate, but he wanted the money on the spot. When he didn't return her calls, she feared the worst and called police.

"Did they snap her neck and drop her? So I'm trying to mentally prepare myself, I'm just looking for her running or looking for her laying there and it just was pretty terrifying," Goggin says,

The next morning, the man agreed to meet her at James Madison Park where officers were ready and waiting.

"What we did is set up surveillance on the park before the dog's owner got there and we do see that there is a man who arrives and is pacing back and forth and he's got a yorkie in his arms," says Madison police spokesperson Joel DeSpain. "So she arrives and we call her to contact the guy with the dog and bring the dog over to her vehicle and as he's walking towards the vehicle we arrest him for dognapping."

Police say Jeremiah D. Smith, 34, faces a misdemeanor charge in this case. He was arrested and released, as Sasha was reunited with her relieved owner.

"I met [the officer] up the block and she gave me Sasha... I lost it and I really was surprised I got so emotional," said Goggin. "It was terrifying getting up to that and I really am so thankful to the Madison Police Department and everybody involved."

Goggin says she'll keep an extra watchful eye on Sasha and her two other pups.


A man was arrested after police say he stole a woman's dog.

Madison police say the woman was packing up her vehicle on E. Washington Avenue Monday night, when one of her dogs went missing. She quickly got a call from someone who claimed the dog, Sasha, had run out in traffic and caused an accident. The man on the phone demanded money to pay for damage. 

The victim said she recorded a phone conversation during which the suspect demanded money. She set up a meeting with police at a Madison park and was able to get the dog back.

Police say the man was taken into custody on a tentative charge of dognapping.|

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