St. Paul police pressed their search Wednesday for whoever stole an SUV found abandoned days later with the owner's dog dead inside.

The Subaru Outback, its engine running, was stolen at 4:45 p.m. Saturday while parked outside a restaurant near Payne and Sims avenues as the driver was picking up food. Inside was GoGo, a German shepherd-husky mix.

Police were on the hunt for the vehicle when it was discovered Tuesday afternoon nearly 4 miles to the west in the 1000 block of Ryde Street. GoGo was dead inside. The thief has yet to be caught.

GoGo's owner, Katie Klaren, posted surveillance video on Facebook that she says shows a van she suspects played a role in the crime parked behind her vehicle.

"This terrible series of events could have been prevented had the thief or thieves not made the decision to steal someone's SUV," police spokesman Steve Linders said. "Then, when it was discovered GoGo was inside the vehicle, whoever was driving made another bad decision and left her inside in the middle of a heat wave, without food or water."

While he emphasized that "the responsibility for this sits squarely in the lap of the person or people who stole the SUV in the first place ... this incident is a sad reminder that vehicles shouldn't be left running and unattended.

"We'd all like to think that a person should be able to leave their vehicles for a few minutes, but that's not the case when some people don't think twice about jumping in and driving off. And apparently whoever stole this vehicle didn't think at all when they discovered a dog in the back seat."

Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 651-291-1111.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482