LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — PETA Wednesday announced it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect wanted for leaving a 10-year-old dog to die during a carjacking in Studio City.

The minivan was stolen around 1 p.m. Saturday from a parking lot near the intersection of Ventura Boulevard and Whitsett Avenue, police said.

The vehicle was taken when it was briefly left unattended while the owner, Nayo Mateo, ran to get his wife and daughter inside a store. Mateo left the van running with the air conditioning turned on for his dog, a yellow Labrador named Maru, who was sleeping in the back seat.

Police found the abandoned minivan around 5 p.m. Monday with the dog, who was locked inside, dead. PETA officials believe heat prostration was the probable cause of death.

“Maru likely experienced a prolonged, painful, and terrifying death, which is typical of animals left in hot cars who succumb to heatstroke,” said PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Perpetrators of crimes against animals must be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

The reward is offered to anyone with information that leads police to the arrest and cruelty-to-animals conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department at (877)275-5273.

RELATED STORY: Family Dog Found Dead In Vehicle Following Studio City Van Theft


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