Grand Theft Puppy! Woman Tries to Snatch Chihuahua at Gunpoint

A would-be dog-napper attempts to swipe an adorable dog from puppy seller's home

“Put your paws where I can see ‘em and no one gets hurt!”

Okay, so it didn’t go quite that way, but it was still a pretty scary scene when a woman tried to steal a puppy at gunpoint in Sydney, Australia.

Eight-week-old Chihuahua Diego, white as a pint of vanilla ice cream and just about as big, was up for sale for a bargain $1,300 (hey, cuteness doesn’t come cheap). His owner, Ashleigh Johnson, 24, (pictured above) who was selling four pups from a litter, invited one prospective buyer to her home in Sydney on Sept. 27. At first, all went well: The 26-year-old woman sat on the sofa and held Diego in her lap. But then she reached into her dog carrier and pulled out a replica Glock pistol. “It was surreal,” Johnson later told reporters. “I thought I was in a movie.”

Fortunately, Johnson’s father, Graham, was sitting next to the woman, and he lunged and grabbed her gun. As they grappled in the living room, Johnson ran to get her brother Blake, a police officer, who was in back with other relatives for Sunday lunch. Together they wrestled the gun away from the woman and held her until police arrived; she’s now been charged with robbery while armed and possession of a prohibited weapon. “She said she didn’t want anyone to get hurt, but we had all of our family from Newcastle there and there were kids around,” Johnson said. “I had all these images in my head that my dad was going to be shot.” Said a police spokesman: “Obviously the dog was quite cute to this lady and she just wanted it.”

And as for little Diego, the criminally cute Chihuahua? He had no idea he was almost dog-napped, and is still for sale. I guess you could say he’s a real steal.

See more amazing stories on PEOPLE Pets:
Couple Pays $10,000 to Get Stolen Dog Back
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