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Community members help reunite a San Luis Obispo couple's dog and car after they were stolen

Posted at 7:24 PM, Oct 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 02:54:09-04

It was a sleepless night for one San Luis Obispo couple, after their vehicle and dog were stolen near their downtown business Thursday evening.

Monika Tumbrello was running things to and from her car in preparation for the grand opening of her new shop on Broad St., Monika’s Macarons, when one of her contractors noticed her car was no longer parked across the street.

“Right at the moment, I realized I looked up and the car was gone," Tumbrello said.

San Luis Obispo Police were on scene shortly after the incident and filed a stolen vehicle report.

Meanwhile, Tumbrello and her boyfriend, Rick Joseph, began searching San Luis Obispo for their missing dog, Cherry.

“We just wanted the dog, that’s all we cared about," Tumbrello said.

A plea for help posted on Facebook received hundreds of shares.

“I felt like I wasn’t going to sleep and I was going to walk every square in of this city and creek beds or whatever, anywhere I needed to go to find her," Tumbrello said.

That post, now updated to show the emotional reunion.

The couple was contacted by San Luis Obispo County Animal Services Friday morning that Cherry had been found near Serrano Circle in San Luis Obispo.

Upon finding their dog, Joseph captured the moment Cherry returned back to Monika's arms.

"I think that’s what you’re seeing in the video is just a pouring out of that pent up negative emotions transferring into a positive emotion of just joy and elation," Joseph said.

Both Tumbrello and Joseph say they were astonished by the amount of the support they received from the community in the search for their dog.

“I feel like our whole community, people we don’t even know, shared hundreds of times our plea or post. It just was really beautiful," Tumbrello said.

SLOPD assisted in locating the vehicle Friday, which was found near the 800 block of Meinecke Ave and confirmed an arrest was made in connection to stolen property.

California Highway Patrol is now handling this incident.