LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Police asked for the public’s help Thursday in locating a stolen vehicle that contained a service dog to a young woman with chronic illnesses.

Sandy, a tan and white male Chihuahua mix, was inside a bronze 1985 Nissan Maxima, CA license plate 5RIA079, when it was stolen at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday from a shopping center parking lot on the southeast corner of Cherry Avenue and 68th Street in Long Beach.

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Sandy was asleep in the back seat, according to her owners, Jody and Emily Thompson, who say they were gone for five minutes to pick up a prescription from Target.

“I’m just in shock and crying every day, cause he’s not there. Since I wake up and go to bed, I see nothing, you know. So it’s very hard,” Emily, 19, said.

Emily suffers from array of illnesses that affect her lymphatic system, and Sandy’s absence is exacerbating her condition.

“He keeps her calm and keeps her from being stressed out. When she’s stressed out, she has flare ups and she becomes ill,” Jody Thompson said.

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Sandy was last seen wearing a metal chain-type collar, but did not have an identification tag or chip, police said.

From surveillance video of the area, detectives determined that after the car was parked, a white full-size extended cab construction truck parked next to it. The video shows a passenger in the truck got out, entered the Maxima and drove off with the dog in the back seat, police said.

(credit: Long Beach Police)

(credit: Long Beach Police)

The truck followed the Maxima and both vehicles left the area, and it is possible the thief was unaware of the dog’s presence, police said.

The car was recovered Wednesday, but Sandy remains missing.

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Anyone with information about Sandy or the vehicle theft can contact Long Beach police Corporal Joe Starbird at (562) 570-7364. Anyone who should find Sandy should contact Animal Care Services at (562) 570-7387.