Stranger's 'disgusting behaviour' caught on CCTV outside restaurant

It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare, leaving your dog tied up outside, only to come back and find him gone.

That’s the heartbreaking situation a Melbourne family say they're facing after they left their Maltese Shih Tzu, Angel, outside a Docklands restaurant on Saturday night. Now they're asking the public for help finding him.

One ray of hope in the search for Angel is that CCTV has captured her being picked up and taken away, moments before they realised she was missing. Police believe a man in the video may be able to help them with their inquiries.

A CCTV still of Angel being picked up.
Angel was waiting outside a Melbourne restaurant when she was approached by a man. Source: Victoria Police

The 44-second clip shows a man casually walking up to the dog from inside a nearby building. The interaction initially appears friendly. He can be seen squatting down, allowing the animal to sniff the back of his hand.

The man then pulls Angel towards him by her harness. She begins to resist but soon calms down, and the man unties her. He then draws her towards his stomach, turns and jogs back in the direction he entered from.

Owners say missing dog like a child to them

Following Angel’s alleged abduction, his owner Harshita Sharma searched Melbourne’s streets until 1am, Channel 9 Reported. "It's just disgusting behaviour — how can you grab someone's family? It's someone's baby, it's someone's little child," she told the network.

Two stills of Angel.
Police have urged anyone who sees a dog resembling Angel being sold online to contact Crime Stoppers. Source: Victoria Police

Police have described the man in the video as being Indian subcontinental in appearance with black curly hair and a black beard. “He was wearing a bandanna as a headband and a black, long sleeve polo top with a white stripe on the collar over a white shirt and light jeans with large horizontal rips across the knees and sneakers,” they said in a statement.

The man was last seen walking along the Bourke Street Waterfront. Anyone who recognised the man in the video, or knows where Angel is located, is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Police added they would also like to hear from anyone who has seen Angel being sold on online marketplaces or via social media sites.

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