Chantel Neumeyer with Dash and some of the outfits she designed that were taken from her mom’s Audi overnight last Thursday. (Contributed photos)

Theft of dog-outfits ‘a huge hit’ to South Surrey mother-daughter business

Kathy Neumeyer says 100-plus dog sweaters and raincoats were nicked from her SUV last week

A theft in South Surrey last week has hit a mother-daughter retail team hard, after 100-plus “luxury” dog outfits were stolen from a vehicle.

Kathy Neumeyer said the loss – which occurred overnight Oct. 17-18, outside her home near 33 Avenue and 148A Street – has been particularly hard on her daughter.

Chantel’s Sharper Barker business, offering sweaters and raincoats for pups of all sizes, is in its second year, and she was “crushed” by news of the theft, her mom said.

“It’s her design and it’s her inspiration,” Neumeyer said, of the business inspired by Chantel’s dachshund, Dash. “I’m mad and she’s sad. It’s kind of a big hit.”

Neumeyer said five styles of outfits – each bearing a ‘Sharper Barker’ label’ – were taken from her Audi SUV in the early hours of Oct 18. She said she is kicking herself for leaving the outfits in the vehicle – along with a curling bag and other personal items that were also taken – as she typically would have brought them inside, or taken them straight back to her daughter. She was also upset to realize that she must have left her SUV unlocked, something she doesn’t normally do.

“You don’t know how stupid I feel,” she said.

Neumeyer said she’d been at a trade show with the outfits earlier in the day, and left her Audi parked on the street outside her home when she returned.

She suspects the theft was carried out by a pair of individuals who were captured on a neighbour’s surveillance camera checking car door handles in the dark of night.

She scoured the area the following day looking for anything that the culprits might have dumped, and went to the Cloverdale flea market on Sunday to see if anyone was trying to pass the items off as their own; all to no avail.

Neumeyer said she is heartened by the “outpouring” of support received after news of the theft was shared on social media.

One person contacted Neumeyer to say she’d found three “prop dogs” that had been among the stolen items. They are what she and Chantel use to model the dog outfits at trade shows. Another woman reached out from New Westminster to say that she, too, would spread the word.

Dogs in White Rock shared the theft on Facebook, describing it as “a huge hit for a small business, that is very close to the hearts of all us dog lovers.”

The outfits, Neumeyer noted, would not be easy for the thieves to claim ownership of, as the business is e-commerce-based and the designs are Chantel’s own.

“They’re very distinctive,” she said. “I don’t think they knew they had dogs’ clothing.”

Surrey RCMP confirmed Neumeyer’s report, and encouraged anyone witnessing suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to contact police immediately.

While Neumeyer said she’d heard there had been other theft incidents in her neighbourhood on the same night, Const. Richard Wright said police did not receive any other reports.

Neumeyer said she is trying to stay optimistic the Sharper Barker clothing will be recovered.

“Anything’s possible,” she said. “We’re hopeful.”

Anyone with information on the theft may contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

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