The owner of a southwest Iowa pet store is again dealing with thieves who tried to pilfer a petite pooch. Rex Maresch, of the Bird Cage in Council Bluffs, says he saw a man leave the store on Sunday while trying to hide an expensive puppy under his coat.

Maresch says, "I chased after him and he came back into the store to get his two friends and they tried to intimidate me and pin me up against my counter." Maresch says he knows martial arts and told them so.

"I kept telling them, ‘I want my dog, I want my dog,’ and that’s when they threw the pet at me and bolted for the door." Maresch caught the small dog, which doesn’t appear to have been injured.

The dog is a Bichon-poodle mix, a Bichon-poo, what’s considered a "designer pet" and it retails for more than 600-dollars. Maresch got the license plate number of the suspects’ vehicle and police caught them a short time later. One of the suspects was wanted for an immigration violation.

There have been other incidents at the Bird Cage. Last May, a man stuffed an iguana down his pants at the store and tried to flee. Also, another expensive puppy was taken from the store and police say the dog was sold for 25-dollars, money that was used for drugs. Maresch installed additional security cameras last year in an effort to identify would-be shoplifters.