A food delivery worker was arrested over the weekend after trying to covertly steal a family’s puppy while dropping off pizza.
The incident unfolded over the evening on Saturday at a condominium building in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Surveillance footage shows the suspect, 22-year-old Arlinson Chilito, calmly entering the elevator on the way back from delivering the pizza while obscuring Lexi, a 10-month-old teacup poodle, in his delivery bag.
The footage then shows Chilito walking out of the elevator while holding the pup and eventually getting into his blue Ford Focus to drive off.
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A man allegedly posing as a Grubhub employee was arrested for snatching a poodle
Surveillance video showed Arlinson Chilito, 22, sneaking the puppy into a delivery bag
Chilito then calmly exited the elevator with the dog, where he was able to evade staff
‘It was terrible,’ the dog owner, Rick Block, told News4Jax. ‘I mean, it was just terrible.’
Block and his wife ordered their pizza through Grubhub, an online food ordering platform, from local restaurant Gusto.
When Chilito arrived to drop off the pizza, Lexi walked out of Block’s home, which is when Chilito allegedly tucked the dog into his deliver bag.
There was night staff on duty in the lobby when Chilito walked by them with the puppy.
The surveillance footage was captured in a condominium building in Jacksonville Beach
After Chilito exited the building, he was seen climbing into his blue Ford Focus
He then drove off with the dog, although he was captured by the police hours later
The harrowing ordeal ended quickly, with Lexi located by the Jacksonville Beach Police Department early on Sunday morning and returned home shortly thereafter.
Chilito is being charged with grand theft
‘Jax Beach PD rocks!!! They were amazing. Truly,’ Block wrote in a Facebook post announced Lexi’s return.
Meanwhile, Chilito was arrested at his home in Jacksonville and booked into county jail around 2:30am on Sunday morning.
He has been charged with grand theft and is being held on bond.
While the Blocks ordered their pizza from Grubhub, the company is claiming Chilito is not a contractor of the company.
‘We confirmed the individual charged with this crime was not a Grubhub driver and has never been contracted with us,’ the company said in a statement.
‘He was using another contracted driver’s account without Grubhub’s permission or knowledge, which is a fraudulent misuse of our platform.
‘We banned the driver permanently from our platform and support efforts to prosecute both individuals to the full extent of the law.’
The puppy, Lexi, is a 10-month-old teacup poodle that belongs to Rick Block and his wife
The owners were willing to give a $5,000 reward for her safe return over the weekend
Gusto, the restaurant, is cooperating with the investigation.
The Blocks originally offered a reward of $5,000 for the return of Lexi, which they will now be donating instead to the Jacksonville Beach police lodge.
As for Chilito, Block may be willing to forgive the young man for his alleged crime.
‘It was terrible,’ Block told News4Jax of losing the dog. ‘I mean, it was just terrible.’
Pictured: Rick Block, right, with President Joe Biden
‘I don’t know, he’s young, and I really don’t want to ruin somebody’s life,’ Block said to Action News Jax about Chilito’s future.
According to WMFY, Chilito is on probation for a previous incident of driving under the influence and is also facing charges of marijuana possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving with a suspended license.
His next court appearance on the misdemeanor charges will come on February 8, while his next court appearance on the grand theft charge will come February 23.