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Authorities say a man stole two small puppies, then abandoned them near Fremont Street and 26th Ave.

COURTESY PHOTO - Two American Bully puppies escaped from a home in the 2000 block of North Fremont Street in Cornelius on Tuesday. Authorities believe the dogs were later stolen and abandoned, and are asking for the public's help to find them.Washington County Sheriff's deputies are asking for the public's help to find two puppies stolen and later abandoned in Cornelius.

According to the Sheriff's Office, Sheikhnoor Abdi, 18, of Cornelius was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly stole the two puppies and later left them near a set of railroad tracks. Abdi is charged with two counts of first-degree theft.

Deputies learned of the puppies dissapearance Tuesday, Jan. 16, when authorities were called to the 2000 block of North Fremont Street in Cornelius.

Deputies were told that two American Bully puppies had escaped from their yard that morning. The dogs' owners had posted about their escape on social media and had received a tip that the puppies had been spotted at a nearby apartment complex.

Abdi, who lived at the apartment complex, was interviewed by deputies and reportedly told police he found the two lost puppies. According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Abdi admitted to taking the animals, likely knowing they belonged to someoneelse, but later realized he couldn't keep them. He reportedly told authorities he took the animals to a set of railroad tracks near North Fremont Street and 26th Avenue and let them go.

Deputies have searched the area but have been unable to locate the missing dogs.

Anyone with information about the dogs' whereabouts is asked to call Cornelius deputies at 503-691-0111.

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