GUILDERLAND, N.Y. — A puppy stolen from "The Pet Zone" at Crossgates Mall was anonymously dropped off at a City of Albany homeless shelter Wednesday evening. Police recovered the animal and returned it to the store by Thursday night.

The male puppy, a West Highland Terrier, was swiped from the store just after noon Wednesday. According to police, the animal was in a cage or crate near the front of the store for display purposes. Store associates were working in the rear section of The Pet Zone.

Police say surveillance images show a pair of young women entering the store, unlocking the animal's crate and carrying him out of the store, through the mall concourse and onto a CDTA bus. The bus dropped the women off at South Pearl Street in Albany, where the trail of video ends. Police are still searching for the two suspects, and could charge the pair with grand larceny.

The owner of The Pet Zone said in an email message Thursday that the dog had been playing with store associates, who went to retrieve a new toy for the terrier. When they returned, the puppy had been stolen.

"This is the first of my recollection that this has happened," wrote Ted Bell. "The incident was noticed almost immediately, which was very fortunate."

Anyone with information may call Guilderland Police at 518-356-1501.