Entertainment And News

Uber Eats Driver Steals Woman's Dog After Delivering Her A Pizza

Photo: Pix11
Uber Eats driver stealing dog

Thanks in large part to the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of takeout and delivery that has been ordered through Uber Eats, Doordash, Grubhub, and other food delivery services has skyrocketed, placing a ton of responsibility and trust on the shoulders of those delivery drivers who provide us homebodies with sustenance.

While most food delivery experiences are favorable, there are some times you may get a rogue driver who eats your food or complains about the tip amount — or steals your dog, as is what happened to one woman in New York City

An Uber Eats driver stole the woman's dog while delivering her pizza.

In March 2022, 22-year-old Melanie Polanco noticed her 6-month-old Cocker Spaniel Poodle mix had been missing from the apartment.

“I was crying. I was devastated; she’s gone. I couldn’t eat or sleep that night,” she said. “She’s probably scared, alone.”

Fortunately, she was able to figure out what happened through the building’s surveillance system, where she saw the man get into the elevator with her dog and head to his car before driving off.

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“My heart dropped,” she said. “My stomach was turning.”

Polanco called 911 and filed a police report, also making sure to file a complaint with Uber and send them the video. Uber contacted the driver who delivered the food and he said he wasn’t in possession of the pup, but Polanco thought otherwise. She told PIX11 News she believes the motive was money.

“I don’t think he came to steal a dog, but he saw her — she’s very cute,” Polanco said. “It’s a crime, it’s theft. She’s worth $5,000. It could be grand larceny. I don’t know what’s going to happen, all I’m thinking about is Ella, I need Ella back.”

In a bizarre turn of events, Polanco was contacted Tuesday morning by the driver who took off with the dog but continued to claim that it wasn’t him.

“He was like, ‘I saw myself on TV this morning,'” Polanco told The Post about the call. “‘I didn’t steal your dog. I thought she was lost. I gave it to a neighbor.’ I’m like, ‘What are you talking about? 

“We saw you take Ella into your car and drive off,’” she said. “He was like, ‘Oh, yeah. But, no. It’s not me.’ I was like, ‘Just give me back Ella. That’s all I’m worried about.'”

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The next day, a man came by to return the dog when he was quickly apprehended by awaiting police.

It was not the delivery driver, and the man claimed he was simply paid to drop the dog off.

“I was happy,” Polanco said. “I got my baby back. I’m happy, the family’s happy, we all got our family member back. You know, she’s our baby. She’s the youngest one, six months.”

Police are continuing the search and investigation, putting up wanted posters of the thief while Uber has removed his access to the platform.

“What the customer reported is deeply upsetting and unacceptable,” the email sent to PIX11 by Uber said. “We’re continuing to look into this and have removed this driver’s access to the platform. We stand ready to assist law enforcement in their investigation.”

Although she got her puppy back, Polanco still wants the dognapper to face legal consequences.

“I mean, she’s worth $5,000-plus,” she said. “So it is grand larceny, stolen item.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.