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November 29, 2005
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Amateur extortionist snared in Calif. police sting

By Kim Vo   
Mercury News

The woman assumed her Shih Tzu had run off, authorities said -- until she got a call Sunday demanding money for the dog.

Instead, she phoned the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, and deputies set up a sting that snared the culprit -- an 11-year-old boy.

The woman agreed to meet the boy, who gave his name as Jonathan and said he wanted an unspecified reward for the dog's return.

Deputies were nearby as the victim went to meet Jonathan in front of an apartment building in the 500 block of Oakside Avenue in North Fair Oaks, an unincorporated part of San Mateo County wedged between Redwood City and Atherton.

A deputy spotted the boy with the dog, and the child admitted he was the culprit, said Capt. Don O'Keefe. The boy told authorities he had found the dog at a 7-Eleven.

"He thought he'd be an entrepreneur or something,'' O'Keefe said.

The woman didn't want to press charges, and the boy was released to his parents.

 San Jose Mercury News (

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