A LITTLE girl has been reunited with her pet chihuahua three days after thieves stole the tiny dog from the back of her dad's van.
Five-year-old Isabella Buckle got her pet pooch Pixie back on Wednesday, after thieves snatched her while he was shopping on Monday.
However, police spotted the missing puppy wandering near a park in Wimbledon on Wednesday afternoon.
A quick call to dad Matt later, and Pixie was back in Isabella's arms at the family's home in Selsdon.
Isabella's mum, Nicola Martinelli, 34, said she and her daughter 'screamed' with happiness on hearing the news Pixie would return home.
She said: "Matt phoned me and said 'put Isabella on' – I didn't know she'd been found, he didn't tell me, and then she started screaming, saying 'Daddy's got her! Daddy's got her!'
"So I screamed and snatched the phone back!"
And she put the find down to the extensive online attention the story has received.
The family set up a @FindPixie Twitter account, and their story was shared by thousands of people on Facebook.
"The police think it's because it's been so hyped on the internet that she's been returned," she said.
"I can't believe how many people have followed us – I'm just replying to everyone now! It's been amazing.
"They honestly think she was too risky to handle, and the thieves wouldn't be able to sell her on."
Nicola added that in all the excitement of being reunited with her best friend, Isabella is now actually missing something else – her front tooth.
The couple also have two sons, 12-year-old Joshua and two-year-old Freddie.
The thieves broke into Matt's van in Purley Tesco car park while he went to get lunch at 1.30pm on Monday.
Matt, a mobile mechanic, returned to find smashed glass with Pixie missing and the other family dog, boxer Duke, bloodied and traumatised.
And Nicola said Duke had his "old spark" as he was reunited with his miniature companion.
"Duke was also there to pick her up – there was a lot of sniffing," she said. "They're just brilliant together. When he got home he was rolling on the floor, like he had his old spark back.
"And Pixie was running up and down his body. They're tails are wagging again, that's for sure!"
"The dogs are known around Selsdon as little and large because he's so big and she's so tiny. They're best friends."
"It's been unbelievable, and I'm actually still shocked at how quickly and crazy it took off. A big thanks to everybody - I don't think we would have got it back if it wasn't for people sharing the story."
WHEN police officers learned of Isabella's loss, they decided to try to cheer her up.
PCs Charlotte Kempton and Lucy Palmer from Selsdon and Ballards safer neighbourhood team organised a whip round among local officers and they visited Isabella on Wednesday before school to take her gifts including a colouring set and a bracelet-making kit.
PC Kempton said: "Isabella was been left heartbroken that her dog Pixie has been stolen, so we wanted to try and cheer her up and got her a few small gifts that we delivered this morning before she went to school."