Former Amazon Delivery Driver Sentenced for Stealing Encinitas Woman’s Dog

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VISTA, Calif.—A former Amazon delivery driver who stole an Encinitas woman’s dog while delivering packages was sentenced March 16 to a one-year probation term.

Dena Vindiola, 37, was arrested last October, about three weeks after golden retriever Finn went missing from his owner’s Hollyridge Drive home.

As part of her probation, Vindiola must abide by a number of conditions, including performing 10 days of community service involving animal care, staying away from any San Diego County dog parks, and prohibitions against owning any dogs.

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Denise Reppenhagen’s dog went missing on Oct. 9, 2022, after her garage door was left open by a family member.

On Oct. 26, a neighbor discovered on home camera surveillance footage that a woman who appeared to be an Amazon driver delivering packages, including at Rappenhagen’s home, loaded Finn into her car and drove off, the sheriff’s department said.

After the video footage of Finn’s theft was aired on local news, the sheriff’s department received a tip from someone who recognized Vindiola, who was arrested Oct. 29 at a home in San Diego.

Sheriff’s officials said Vindiola worked for a third-party delivery service that contracts for Amazon deliveries. She told sheriff’s investigators that she tried to give Finn to a friend and then to her mother, but neither wanted the dog, leading her to turn Finn in to an animal shelter in El Centro.

The dog was reunited with Rappenhagen the following day.

Vindiola pleaded guilty earlier this year to a count of grand theft of personal property.

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