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Published: Thursday, 12/9/2010

Michigan crime victim gets cupful of cheer: Her Chihuahua's back

JACKSON, Mich. -- A southern Michigan woman who lost her purse, money, and 6-week-old teacup Chihuahua during a purse snatching says Christmas arrived early when the puppy, named Baby Girl, was found unharmed nearly six hours later.

Irene Miller, 60, of Leoni, said that's all she wanted after a woman stole her handbag containing the soda can-sized dog that she received as a gift and had for about a week.

The theft happened about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday in her daughter's apartment complex in Jackson.

Ms. Miller said she never thought she'd see Baby Girl again.

"But I had hope," Ms. Miller told the Jackson Citizen Patriot for a story Wednesday.

Ms. Miller said the suspect, who was described by police as a 5-foot, 2-inch black female in her mid 20s, first asked her if she needed help near an elevator in her daughter's Reed Manor apartment complex, then stole her handbag from behind.

Ms. Miller said she yelled, "Please, give me my dog back," as the thief fled from the area of the attack.

An unsuccessful search by family friends and neighbors ensued for the dog that often travels in Ms. Miller's bag to stay warm.

Later that evening, an 18-year-old woman found Ms. Miller's purse in the complex's laundry room -- with Baby Girl safely inside.

"Everyone was so excited," said Ms. Miller, who is still missing deeds to her car and trailer and $200 she slated for Christmas presents.

"The dog was crying. She wanted her mama, too."

Ms. Miller's 7-year-old great-granddaughter, Destiny Miller, said the money is not important.

"We already got our Christmas present," she said. "We got the dog back."

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