A Colorado woman was arrested for stealing a dog while paramedics were trying to save its owner’s life at a convenience store on Tuesday, July 30.
The owner, Robert Corby 59, suffered from mental issues and depression. He had recently obtained a therapy pup, named Sampson.
Corby hadn’t been feeling too well all day long and decided to take Sampson for a walk to his local 7-Eleven store at 1650 N. Main St. in Longmont, Colorado.
At the store, however, Corby collapsed. First responders came to the scene and tried to save his life. It was then that a young woman, Melody Mellon, 30, walked in and took the dog with her as can be seen on the store’s video footage.
Corby passed away that evening in the hospital.
The Longmont Police Department issued a public plea on Facebook hoping to retrieve Sampson.
“Public Safety staff does not know what the purpose was in removing this dog, but we ask that you, please return their dog to the Longmont Police Department, 225 Kimbark, in Longmont. [Relatives] not only lost a treasured family member but are also missing his companion.”
Mellon was found on Thursday, August 1, shortly before 5 a.m., while she was sleeping in a truck she had stolen the day before. The truck was reported missing by her ex-boyfriend’s mother that morning. Sampson, however, was nowhere near.
Mellon, had outstanding warrants out, among them, failure to appear on a felony drug charge and a traffic charge. She kicked the officers that tried to arrest her and lied about her name. She allegedly also spat and urinated in the police patrol car.
After Mellon’s arrest, police discovered that she was the person seen in the video of the dognapping two days earlier.
“During their investigation, Ms. Mellon was also identified as the suspect in the missing Sampson (dog) investigation,” according to Longmont Police Department documents obtained by KDVR.
Longmont Deputy Police Chief Jeff Satur spotted Sampson Wednesday, escorting an elderly couple down Mainstreet.
“He stood out. I was like, ‘Oh, there he is!’ I recognized him right away,” he told KCNC-TV. The couple said they got the dog from a woman. The man had fed and bathed Sampson, but they were willing to hand it over to the police.
“They knew the dog was missing,” Satur said. “They were like, ‘Here, take the dog.’”
The doggy was reunited with the family at about 3 p.m. “We understand this was an emotional reunion. But, kisses all around to the large group of family that came to pick Sampson (Sammy) up. He was thrilled to see them,” Police wrote in an update on Facebook.
“It feels like we have a piece of my uncle having Sampson back,” Corbey’s niece, Kelly Pleffner, told KCNC. “We were just so worried. We are so grateful to have him back.”
Mellon faces charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, and auto theft on top of the ones she already had.