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Thursday, April 28, 2005
Arrest made for demand of ransom for dog

Associated Press — April 28, 2005

BOSTON — A man whose truck was stolen with his 11-week-old puppy inside said the thief threatened to kill his pet unless he paid a $500 ransom. Instead, the dog owner brought the police along to the planned rendezvous, and a suspect was arrested.

Timothy Connors, 30, left the keys in his pickup truck, with the dog inside, when he stepped into a convenience store recently. That's when Michael Cyr allegedly stole the truck and Dakota, a two-pound Pomeranian-Maltese mix.

After discovering the truck was gone, Connors called his cell phone, which he had left inside the vehicle. He said Cyr answered and demanded $500, threatening to kill the dog if police got involved.

Connors eventually agreed to meet the suspect at Boston's Downtown Crossing shopping district. He put $43 in an envelope _ padding it with napkins to make it look like $500.

Cyr did not count the money before handing over the keys to the truck and fleeing, authorities said. Police, who had staked out the area, arrested him nearby after a struggle.

Cyr, 43, was ordered held on $500 bail Tuesday at his arraignment in Boston Municipal Court. He faces charges including extortion and receiving a stolen vehicle.

The dog was unharmed and Connors came away with a lesson.

"I wouldn't leave Dakota alone ever again, not even for 20 seconds," he said.