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Police Say Ransom Note for Missing Vacaville Dog is a Scam

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VACAVILLE -- It's hard enough for Diane Navarro Tippetts, whose 10-year-old Jack Russell-chihuahua mix went missing 10 days ago, during a barn sale on her property in the English Hills of Vacaville.

"I've put up over 250 fliers. I have friends that are putting them up," Tippetts said.

But to think someone would do this.

Her missing dog post on Facebook got a response -- a ransom demand for her dog, Chico.
It reads in part:

"All I want is $300, you can call it redemption, if you will not pay - I'm going to euthanize your animal and bury it."

The suspect also warned that if she contacted police, he would kill her dog.

Despite the threat, from the wording and sentence structure of the demand for money, Diane doubted it was real and contacted authorities.

"They're very well aware of it. And they've tracked it down the United Kingdom. And I've been told that it's a scam," she said.

"From the suspect point of view, they might put out 10,000 of these, just hoping to get a few people to send them money," Vacaville police Lt. Matt Lydon said.

But don't fall for it.

Police say it's yet another way scammers are trying to steal money.

"Look out for yourself. You also wanna look out for your animal. But you don't want to be putting out hundreds and thousands of dollars to some heartless person that's preying on people that are missing animals," Tippetts said.

Meanwhile, aside from posting updates on Facebook, Diane is out, posting 50 fliers a day about Chico around town.

"He's tagged with my name and his address. He's got a bad to the bone collar on that's black and red, he's micro-chipped. He has his ear tattooed on the inside with a blue tattoo," she said.

She prays he's alright and that Chico is keeping company with a nice senior citizen whose given him refuge.

"If they don't wanna get involved, or they don't wanna be seen, drop him off at the end of my road. He knows his way home," she said.