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Interview: Beloved poodle ‘Monkey,’ truck found after officer-involved shooting

For Carl and Stephanie Sanders, Monkey the poodle is a beloved member of the family. (KIRO 7 TV)

Monkey the poodle is safe with his family after being stolen with his owner’s truck Friday afternoon, according to Black Diamond Police Commander Larry Colagiovanni.

The King County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday afternoon that the suspected thief is dead after being shot in an officer-involved shooting.

“The suspect engaged the county deputies and state patrol in a pursuit this morning,” Colagiovanni told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “We lost him temporarily, but then he was located again in Enumclaw.”

For Monkey’s owners Carl and Stefanie Sanders of Black Diamond, the reunion with their dog this afternoon was a bittersweet one.

“Unfortunately in all this, there was a loss of life … he made his choice, he had choices to not do it, he had choices to not commit the crime, and he had several choices to give up, and he did not do that,” Carl said.

Monkey was found with blood on his head and appeared very traumatized to his owners. He drank about a gallon of water and ate two cans of dog food, Carl said.

“I believe he was in the truck for three days … I believe he’s been so scared for three days that he didn’t eat,” Carl said.

Unfortunately, the 1-year-old truck was totaled. However, Carl said that the return of the family dog was all that mattered.

“I’m a very lucky man because we have our puppy back today,” he said.

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A beloved family poodle

For Carl and Stefanie, Monkey the blond poodle is almost like a fifth child.

With their four sons out on their own working or away at college, 4-year-old Monkey has in a way taken the place as the last bird in the nest. The beloved family pet even has his own crib.

“He is the apple of our eye, at this point,” Carl said.

And as man’s best friend, Monkey follows Carl and Stefanie everywhere, even to check the mail. He often accompanies Carl to the construction site where he works.

“He’s on the job site, rides in the excavators with me,” Carl said. “He’s by my side or Stephanie’s side at all times. He never leaves us.”

On his way home from work on Friday, Carl stopped by the Cenex gas station on Third Avenue to fuel up and grab a soda. He left his car running, as he was only in the convenience store for a minute.

But during that time, a thief jumped in his 2018 Ford Raptor and drove it away — with the beloved poodle sitting inside.

“My truck is flying by me, right in front of me, with Monkey staring at me like, ‘What’s going on, Papa? I don’t like this,'” he described.

The thief sped out of the parking lot at what Carl estimated to be 80 to 100 miles per hour, leaving the gas nozzle hanging and spraying gas all over.

“I don’t care about the truck, I don’t care about the contents of my truck — I just want my dog back,” Carl had said before Monkey was found.

A lengthy criminal record

The suspect was identified via surveillance video as Anthony Chilcott, 36. Chilcott has a long criminal history in the area. He was most recently arrested Oct. 28 on an outstanding warrant, but released from the King County Jail on Nov. 13 on his own recognizance.

According to KIRO 7 TV, Chilcott fought police and tried to escape when he was arrested in October, vandalizing the police car to the tune of thousands of dollars in damage.

“One of the very unfortunate things is, Anthony Chilcott has committed a lot of bad crimes and has served very little time,” Carl said. “And it’s just disgusting, because this never should have happened in the first place.”

Colagiovanni noted that Chilcott, who has no fixed address, had previously pleaded guilty to assaulting a Black Diamond officer.

“He definitely has a violent history, and it’s unusual that he was in jail for a very short period of time,” he said. “The King County Prosecutor’s Office did a good job getting a bond on him, but a judge saw fit that he met the conditions of release, and released him without having to post any bail, essentially — released him on his own recognizance.”

“I certainly hope that the judge will see this story and come to some realization that this has to stop,” Carl said. “There are too many innocent victims, for no reason.”

Carl, a lifelong resident of the Black Diamond area, was in shock that such a heartless act could occur in the middle of the small town. He said that he has left his keys in his truck “a thousand times” in the past while quickly running into a shop for something — though from now on, he will take precautions and trust no one.

“I was oblivious to this type of crime in this area,” he said.

Carl often goes downtown Seattle for work, but had always seen Black Diamond as a refuge from the crimes of the big city.

“I drive back home and I’m out in the Black Diamond area, in the Enumclaw area, it’s like, ‘Wow, I got away from all of that,'” he said. “And now it happens to me, as I’m thinking, ‘This will never happen to me,’ being naive and trustworthy. Well, I’m not anymore.”

Carl’s heartfelt thanks goes out to the men and women of the Black Diamond Police Department, who have worked tirelessly on finding Monkey — and the truck — since Friday.

“I really want to thank the Black Diamond Police Department for their nonstop [work],” he said. “They’re working night and day on this.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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