Tilly, a Wheaten Terrier, was reunited with her owner Friday morning. Randy Arnov's SUV was stolen Tuesday night with Tilly inside.

Happy ending: Dog stolen when thieves swiped car reunited with owner

It’s a story with a happy ending. Literally.

Three days after thieves made off in Randy Arnov’s car with Tilly, his beloved Wheaten Terrier, inside, the pair was reunited Friday morning. 

“A nightmare that turned out OK,” Arnov said of the ordeal. 

Tuesday night, Arnov left Tilly inside her kennel inside his Subaru Outback. It was hot outside, so Arnov left the SUV running and the air conditioning on, like he’d previously done many times. 

Arnov was returning an item at the Staples at 650 Ponce De Leon Ave NE when thieves struck around 8:30 p.m.

“I came back out and the car was gone,” Arnov said.

The SUV was found abandoned at a southeast Atlanta apartment complex off Cleveland Avenue, but there was no sign of Tilly or the crate she traveled in.

Tilly, a soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, has been missing since Tuesday night when her owner's car was stolen from an Atlanta shopping center.

But Arnov now knows that whoever stole his car dumped Tilly and other items from his car in a woman’s yard near Flat Shoals Road. The woman tried texting Arnov, whose number was on Tilly’s collar, but his phone had also been stolen. 

“She had the dog and was thinking of giving the dog to somebody because she didn’t want another dog,” Arnov said. 

But the woman’s mother had seen media reports about the search for Tilly. And the woman made another call to Arnov, who got a new phone Wednesday morning. 

“Do you have a dog named Tilly?” she asked. 

A relieved Arnov said he did, and explained the situation to the woman. Friday morning, he went to get Tilly and present the woman with the $1,000 reward he’d offered to find her. 

“She was excited to see me,” Arnov said. “But she was having a ball with that woman’s dog.”

It seems Tilly and her new friend, a Yorkie, became fast friends. 

“She’s had a two-day vacation,” Arnov said. 

It was an awful lesson, but Arnov said he won’t leave Tilly alone in the car again. She’ll be at his side or stay at home. 

The investigation into the theft of Arnov’s car continued Friday. 

In other news: 

Old Fourth Ward is a model of gentrification. Ponce City Market is a shopping and dining hot spot in the area. As development creeps closer, with luxury apartment being built next to older houses, Boulevard remains virtually unchanged. Seven people were injured June 24 in a late night drive-by shooting in the southwest Atlanta neighborhood. “I was really thinking that we could have something special ... where affluent and non-affluent people could live together. Now, I’m not so optimistic,” a community ac