By Ryan Hill

MODESTO (CBS13) — Maribel Mendoza and her family are heartbroken after somebody stole a dog named Radar they were all set to adopt and welcome home.

“We just want our baby back. He’s our baby and we connected,” Mendoza said.

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Maribel and her family traveled from the Bay Area to adopt the miniature pinscher. They even camped out in the cold for 12 hours in order to be first in line at the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency.

They’ve been searching for a similar dog for Maribel’s sister who has cerebral palsy after her pup of 13 years passed away.

“He stole my heart. He reminded me a lot of Princess,” Mendoza said.

After a quick meet and greet, the family knew that Radar was the pup for them. As they filled out the adoption papers, they were told that they couldn’t take Radar home just yet. He was under lock and key in a specific room at the shelter with other dogs from a confiscation case from December involving a breeder in the area.

“We took the dog, put it back in the kennel and we left it unlocked because our hospital staff was coming in to get the dog to take it to be neutered,” Annette Patton, executive director at Stanislaus Animal Services Agency, said.

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It was after a simple and quick task of putting the dog away that the unthinkable happened on Monday around 11 a.m.

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“When hospital staff went to go retrieve the dog for surgery, it was missing, it was gone,” Patten said.

“I got a call a few hours later with unfortunate news that Radar was missing. And my heart sunk immediately,” Mendoza said.

Ceres Police are searching for a woman caught on the shelter’s security cameras, who is being identified as a suspect. The department told CBS13 that investigators were told that the woman took Radar from his crate when an employee left the animal and was seen on-camera apparently sneaking him out under a jacket.

Radar the dog, stolen from the Stanislaus Animal Services Agency

The shelter’s executive director says she has a theory of who took Radar. It goes back to the confiscation case.

“We do believe that it is somebody that is related to the situation to the breeder who stole the dog,” Patten said.

Meanwhile, Mendoza has one simple request.

“No questions asked. Just bring Radar back,” Mendoza said.

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Ceres Police also said that they are looking into every possibility as to why Radar was stolen.