Woman reunited with dog and TV taken during first date with man she met online

Police in Dover, New Jersey, are searching for the man as part of an ongoing investigation into the incident

Police in New Jersey are searching for a man who allegedly took a Yorkshire terrier and flat-screen TV belonging to a woman he met on a first date.

The woman has since been reunited with both the dog, Violet, and the Samsung television, but an investigation is ongoing, the Daily Record of Parsippany reported.

The Dover Police Department received a call at around 3am on Saturday to say that Violet had been returned. The dog had been tied by its leash to the television and left in the front garden of its owner's Dover home. Violet appeared to be in good health. 

Authorities said the pair met through an online dating site and went out for the first time on Thursday night. After returning home with the man, known to her only as “Joel”, the woman became occupied in another room, leaving him alone.

When she returned he had gone – along with her dog, valued at $4,000 (£2,400) and her TV, worth about $3,000 (£1,800).

Police said Saturday they know the man’s identity and that charges could be filed, but the investigation is ongoing.

The suspected thief is said to have used the woman’s mobile phone, so police have dusted it for fingerprints. They also checked out locations the pair visited on their date.

The man was described as Hispanic and about 5 feet 9 inches tall. He drove a gold-coloured Mercedes.