Updated: Owner reunited with stolen dog, SUV recovered, 2 charged

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TRAVELERS REST, S.C. – A man whose SUV and dog were stolen from the Travelers Rest Walmart parking lot earlier this month has his vehicle back and has been reunited with his puppy.

(Editor's note: Read the original story here.)

On Friday, Jason Tharp said he received a call from an officer at the Travelers Rest Police Department who told him they had his six-month-old German Shorthaired Pointer, Lexy, at the station. His 1985 FJ60 Toyota Land Cruiser had been found earlier in the day, but Tharp said he wouldn't believe it was his dog until he saw it with his own eyes.

"I just wanted to see her and make sure for myself that it was Lexy," he told the Tribune shortly after being reunited with the dog.

According to Travelers Rest Police Department Captain John Gardner, a phone tip led to the recovery of the vehicle, which set off a chain of events that eventually led to the discovery of the dog.

Lexy and Tharp's Land Cruiser were stolen around 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, December 13. Almost immediately, Tharp launched an aggressive campaign to make the public aware, beginning with a post on Pirate4x4.com, a website popular with 4x4 enthusiasts. The post went viral and quickly spread across the nation.

And in addition to the traditional method of putting flyers up all over the area, Tharp shared the story with multiple media outlets. He also advertised a $2000 reward on television and on billboards throughout Greenville County.

Tharp's determination paid off, resulting in the tip that led to his reunion with Lexy.

"This just didn't happen because I was out posting flyers," Tharp said. "This was a true group and community effort."

On Saturday morning, officials with the Travelers Rest Police Department said two people 20-year-old Jonathan Ray Hamby, of Travelers Rest, and 18-year-old Jarrid Allen Wilson, of Landrum – were charged with grand larceny in connection with the case.

Both men were released on personal recognizance bonds, officials said.

(Pictured: Top - Jason Tharpe and his girlfriend, Kim, pictured with Lexy shortly after being reunited on Friday afternoon at the Travelers Rest Police Department/Tribune staff photo. Bottom (from left to right) - Jonathan Ray Hamby, Jarrid Allen Wilson/TRPD)

Last Updated on Sunday, 06 January 2013 19:54

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