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Woman accused of abandoning dog 15 miles from its home

HEMET, Calif. -- A San Diego County correctional officer who complained about a neighbor's barking dog is accused of stealing the pet and abandoning it 15 miles away.

Diane M. Brown, 42, was arrested on suspicion of felony possession of stolen property, Hemet police Sgt. Kevin Caskey said. She was booked Thursday and released on $5,000 bond. Brown filed multiple noise complaints about Spike -- a white Maltese -- who lives next door to her Hemet home, Riverside County Animal Services officials said.
On Monday, Spike went missing, but Brown was spotted unloading the dog from the trunk of her car outside a water district building in the town of Beaumont, Animal Services Sgt. Lesley Huennekens said. A surveillance camera captured Brown when she returned to the scene to remove to dog's collar.
Two water district employees took Spike to a veterinarian, who located the dog's owners by scanning a tracking chip embedded under the animal's skin. The dog was unharmed.
San Diego County sheriff's officials said Brown was a corrections officer in the city of Vista, but they were unaware of the arrest.

There was no answer at Brown's house Thursday when a reporter for the Riverside Press-Enterprise visited seeking comment.

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