The yellow retriever that was in a minivan when it was stolen was found dead on Monday. The dog, named Maru, was sleeping in the back of the van when it was stolen on Saturday.
Two days after the Honda Odyssey was stolen, police found the vehicle in front of a golf and tennis club in Studio City. The windows were rolled up. The 10-year-old lab was dead. Cause of death has not been determined. It is unknown how long the vehicle had been at the sports club.
The dog belonged to Nayo Mateo who had raised the dog from puppyhood. Mateo had left the air conditioner on and the keys in the ignition when he went into the children's clothing store where his wife and 2-year-old daughter were. Although Mateo claims to have only been gone for less than 30-seconds it was enough time for a thief to take the vehicle from the parking lot at 12507 Ventura Boulevard, at Whitsett Avenue.
The police received a tip that the vehicle was located at the 4100 block of Whitsette Avenue at about 5 p.m. on Monday.
A reward had been raised through Mutt Match L.A. for the safe return of Maru. It is not clear what shall be done with the funds.
If you have information about this incident, contact the North Hollywood LAPD police station at (818) 623-4016.