Hollywood ending: Global soccer star’s stolen pooch returned day after L.A. burglary

Soccer star Daniel Sturridge and his Pomeranian, Lucci.
Soccer star Daniel Sturridge and his Pomeranian, Lucci. Instagram

International soccer star Daniel Sturridge has his Hollywood ending. Little Lucci, Sturridge’s stolen Pomeranian, is back home a day after his emotional social media plea for the adorable dog’s return, Los Angeles news outlets reported Wednesday.

Los Angeles Police Department officials contacted Wednesday morning by The Sacramento Bee said they could not confirm Lucci’s return. Sturridge’s Instagram account, ablaze after his appeal on Tuesday and his offer of a $30,000 reward to get Lucci back, was largely silent.

But Los Angeles police Detective Patrick Aluotto told L.A. television station CBS2 that Sturridge picked up the prized pooch from people who contacted him sometime late Tuesday.

Sturridge reportedly did not discuss the details of the meeting. Sturridge did not have to pay a reward and believed that the people who contacted him late Tuesday were not connected to the Monday break-in, Aluotto told the television station. No arrests have been made.

Let’s review. Sturridge, star striker for England’s national team, late of Liverpool FC, stepped out of his Hollywood Hills home for a few hours Monday night only to return to find his flat ransacked and his precious Pomeranian gone.

Burglars had broken into the home, the security cameras showed, and Sturridge was devastated. He issued a plea to his Instagram army - 3.4 million strong - and to the dognappers to bring Lucci back. Money, he said, was no object.

“I’ll pay anything,” a distraught Sturridge said in a post. “Whoever brings my dog back, 20 grand, straight up. Twenty G’s, 30 G’s, whatever.”

LAPD detectives were on the case. Lucci’s disappearance became an international - if brief - sensation.

After all, Lucci, aka Lucky Lucci or, his Instagram handle, luccidapoochie, is a star in his own right. Lucci has nearly 16,000 Instagram followers of his own, and, his page claims, he’s the only Pomeranian in the world with Husky markings.

So there’s that.

Then came the news Sturridge and the soccer world were waiting for. Lucci was home.

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Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.