ONLEY, Va. (WAVY) — A man is behind bars after he allegedly stole a car from the Onley Walmart with the owner’s dog, Piglet, still inside.
“Everybody just says we were very lucky, and I agree with them,” said Caroline Lewis, the car and dog’s owner.
Monday morning in the small Eastern Shore town of Onley, Lewis almost lost her best friend.
“She’s just everybody’s friend,” Lewis added.
Lewis ran into the store for some groceries. The car was running and when she came back, things weren’t right.
“There was a car near where mine was parked and I walked up and it was not mine,” Lewis said. “I turned around and my car was not where I parked it.”
Even worse, Piglet the dog was inside.
“Naturally, we wanted our car, but that was not our first concern at all,” Lewis added.
“She was very frantic,” Onley Police Chief Charles McPherson recalled. “She was more worried about the dog than she was the vehicle.”
Police were able to get a picture of the man driving the car over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel. Fortunately, the car had GPS.
“The vehicle was tracked to a certain location in Greenville,” McPherson added.
Three and half hours from Accomack, Greenville police found the car.
“She’s the type of dog [where] she’d wag her tail twice and say ‘ho-hum,'” Lewis said. “She thought she had a great trip, because she loves to ride.”
Piglet was tied to a pole in a nearby shopping center.
“He could have dropped it off, and had he caused no problems, he would have never identified,” McPherson added.
Fernando Laurens was identified after he allegedly ditched the car and set an East Carolina University police cruiser on fire.
“I feel like he did wrong, but as I said, I think he had a good heart because he could have disposed of Piglet,” Lewis said.
Laurens is being held in the Pitt County jail in Greenville. He’s been charged with resisting a public officer and burning personal property. Charges are pending in Onley.