2018-10-29 09:25:06 Global Times
A couple detained for stealing a police dog in an East China city claimed on Sunday that they were actually rescuing the untethered German shepherd.
A dog was stolen on June 29 from outside the Duohu police station in the city of Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, local police announced on China's Twitter-like Weibo on Saturday.
The dog had a collar and was used for police patrols, the statement said.
The couple knew the dog's value and the case reflected problems with police dog management, it said.
The couple was released on bail on July 3.
Police did not name the suspects.
The couple told China National Radio (CNR) that they saw an unleashed dog eating trash near the station during their daily night walk in the city suburb.
They gestured and the dog came running, CNR reported.
Finding no information on the collar, the couple took the dog home and did not call police. They had rescued animals before, the report said.
Surveillance camera footage could vindicate their account, the female suspect said.
Even after being released on bail, she said she noticed the same dog scavenging through the trash outside the station.
The dog was worth 15,000 yuan ($2,161.) She said she saw the price of the dog when she was taken to the Duohu police station.
"The case has severely affected our life as we were treated as suspects," she told CNR.
"Some police officers even called us 'the dog stealing couple.'"