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Ohio woman on lookout for pooch possibly stolen in Greensburg

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Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Police are seeking information about an Ohio woman's dog who may have been scooped up by a passing motorist as family members frantically searched for the pet along East Pittsburgh Street in Greensburg.

A happy reunion between Jessica Barkasi, a recently retired schoolteacher from Columbus, Ohio, and her brother, David Barkasi of Greensburg, was turned upside down on Monday when the woman's miniature pinscher escaped from her brother's fenced-in yard on Wilson Avenue.

Greensburg police Capt. Chad Zucco said police received information that the female pooch named Leia may have been taken by a motorist.

Jessica Barkasi said she will delay her return home in hopes that the dog will be found. She was visiting the area after not seeing her brother for seven years.

“Oh, that's my girl. She's the only one I have at home. ... I don't want to go back until I find her,” Barkasi said.

Barkasi said family members thought they were only dealing with a lost pooch until receiving a telephone call from a motorist on Thursday who watched in her rearview mirror as an unidentified male motorist picked up the dog.

“The woman told me that the dog had a red collar, and I didn't tell anyone that ... so I know it was her,” Jessica Barkasi said.

The dog ran from Wilson Avenue onto East Pittsburgh Street near the CoGo's gas station and convenience store.

“It happened so fast, no one was able to get a description of the car. But we know it was a man who picked the dog up,” Zucco said.

The Barkasis received the tip because of the numerous reward posters they have posted around Greensburg since the incident.

“I'm offering a $100 reward for her return. I just wouldn't feel right heading back to Ohio without her ... at least I know now she wasn't hit,” Barkasi said.

Anyone with information is asked to call city police at 724-834-3800.

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