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Man reunited with his dogs after they were stolen from Buc-ee’s Beach Express in Loxley

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT
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LOXLEY, Ala. (WALA) - A man was reunited with his two dogs after he said someone he caught a ride with stole them, and his money during a gas stop at Buc-ee’s Monday, April 25, 2022. Investigators with Loxley Police are trying to identify a female suspect. Several miles to the west, Spanish Fort Police found the man’s dogs wandering loose near the Mobile causeway.

Eric Funderburgh wasn’t sure he’s ever see his best friends again after he said they were taken from him during a theft Monday. He’s a self-described traveler, with no home to speak of. He and his dogs went to Moss Point, MS to sell his Jeep and said he discounted the price to get a ride back to Pensacola. It was during a gas stop at Buc-ee’s on the way back when he said the woman giving him a ride took off when he went inside.

“I wouldn’t have been mad if she just robbed me like a normal person, kicked my dogs out of the car right away, you know. If I would have seen them at Buc-ee’s, I would have been like, this sucks but I can deal with this.” Funderburgh said, noting that he couldn’t sleep Monday night out of worry.

Buc-ee’s is cooperating with the investigation and Loxley Police said the woman seen in images from the store’s security cameras is who stole Funderburgh’s dogs, personal belongings and more than $3,000 from the sale of the Jeep.

“We do have leads on it that we’re going to follow up on,” said Sgt. Zach Kuiken with Loxley Police. “We have the suspect vehicle and the tag out of Mississippi, so we’ll be working with law enforcement agencies in Mississippi on that in identifying this woman.”

After reporting the theft to Loxley Police, Funderburgh put out an appeal on social media for help finding his dogs. About the same time, Spanish Fort Police got a report of two dogs loose near the causeway and picked them up. They too, posted pictures on social media. Someone saw both posts and the result was a beautiful reunion the next morning.

“It’s always nice when you can reunite somebody with their pets, especially in this situation,” explained Sgt. Steven Mooney with Spanish Ft. Police. “It’s the good part of doing the job.”

The $3,500 Funderburgh said he got for his Jeep and the other possessions taken were all he had to his name, but he’s determined to bounce back and elated to have Bismarck and Spirit back by his side.

Eric Funderburgh didn't know if he'd ever see his best friends, Bismarck (left) and Spirit...
Eric Funderburgh didn't know if he'd ever see his best friends, Bismarck (left) and Spirit (right) again after they were taken from him while at Buc-ee's Beach Express(Hal Scheurich)

“I can make money. That’s not a problem. I can get instruments. I can get a new backpack. All of like…everything’s replaceable but the lives of my babies, I can’t replace that,” he said.

It’s a felony theft case, and police are hoping to make an arrest and recover some of the property. If anyone recognizes the woman in the images from Buc-ee’s security camera or knows anything about the theft, Loxley Police wants to hear from you.

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