PORTLAND, Ore. – It's bad enough to get your car stolen. But what if your dog was inside? It happened to a Vancouver man on Saturday.
But now he's counting his blessings.
Just before 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Randy Garman had a scare after he finished breakfast at the Mousetrap Tavern in North Portland. He said when he walked outside, his car was gone.
“Then I realized I just lost my dog and my car," Garman said. "Keep the car. I want my dog back."
That's when the panic hit.
“I almost had a heart attack,” he said.
He called 911. He and a friend drove to all the parks he could think of looking for his dog, an 8-year-old black labrador named Tiger.
Portland police said shortly after they took the report, an officer at a Starbucks on Hayden Island spotted Garman's car in the parking lot. Police arrested 29-year-old Isaiah John Gellatly.
“I'm pressing charges. He stole my dog, that's my kid,” Garman said.
Police said Gellatly let Tiger out of the car near the Mouse Trap Tavern. Officers found her wandering in a neighborhood, then reunited her with her owner.
Garman said he broke down when he got her back.
“Really weak in the knees, man. I could hardly stand up," Garman said. "It's my dog. If you have children, it'd be the same thing. That's my child except she won't run from me and she doesn't talk back."
He said he's grateful for the Portland police officers that brought him back the dog. He said it only took police about four hours to reunite them.
“You don't know how happy I am to see you,” Garman said while he played with Tiger.
After Saturday's scare, Tiger stretched out on the ground and was exhausted. But like many parents would, Garman decided to have a very serious conversation with his little one about strangers.
“Somebody gets in the car and it's not me, say something, please,” he said to Tiger.
Garman said his doors were unlocked and his windows were rolled down to make sure Tiger had some air.
On Sunday he plans to buy a steering wheel lock so this doesn't happen again.
Gellatly was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and is facing a charge of unlawful use of a vehicle. He also had an outstanding warrant out for his arrest.