SHOUT OUT: You can have your picture taken, for free, with one of Bergen County’s recent celebrities: Blackie, the stolen English bulldog, who was returned this weekend to the Aquarium at Route 4 in Elmwood Park after being snatched from his cage days earlier.
Owner Joe Aversa originally scheduled an evening with Santa Claus for this Friday, but he now “has some competition the likes has not been seen since Rudolph.”
“If it was not for everyone [who] helped us on FACEBOOK, we never would have gotten this little guy back,” said Aversa, who decided to take the $3,500 pup off the market and keep him himself.
It could be tough fitting everyone in the shop, so Aversa is asking that people sign the guest list.
CLICK HERE: “ Aquarium at Route 4: Customer Appreciation Night ”
Aversa turned to Facebook after one of his employees discovered the now-8½-week-old Blackie missing last Monday. In no time, hundreds of people were sharing surveillance photos, links and other information.
Police eventually tracked down a man seen on the shop’s surveillance camera and arrested him and his pregnant girlfriend on Friday in Phillipsburg, where the couple lives. Blackie was recovered — malnourished, dehydrated, and a pound and a half down from his previous weight.
Both Thomas Mesach, 24, and 21-year-old Carmen Fucci were brought into Superior Court in Hackensack this morning, where a judge ordered that both remain held in the Bergen County Jail on $5,000 each ( SEE: Man charged in Elmwood Park puppy theft has criminal record ).
Meanwhile, Aversa and his staff were busy preparing for Friday’s event, which begins at 5 p.m.
There will be food, crafts, a clown, games and “loads of stuff for the kiddies,” as well as a tricky tray with double the prizes — “in Blackie’s honor,” Aversa said.
He said he’s also “corrected the security issues that we had and we hope that anyone thinking of doing anything like this again will think twice.
“After all, we have the Facebook Mafia on our side.”
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