FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Antique malls are the place to find unique gems and treasures that you typically pay for.

But Sept. 21, Franklin Police arrested 34-year-old Marco John Filpovic and charged him with felony theft after police say he allegedly stole a bronze dog statue from the Winchester Antique Mall.

Hidden gems were what Kim Tuzzio grew up looking for. “My mom is a big antique collector so she took me around when I was a little girl to garage sales and I hated it,” she said.

📧 Have breaking come to you: Subscribe to News 2 email alerts

But soon hate transformed into love, pushing Tuzzio to open her own antique mall in Franklin over 30 years ago.

“It’s a fun job,” she said. “I’ve always loved what I’ve done and still do. It’s great. We just have these little hiccups that happen.”

Hiccups are Tuzzio’s nice way of saying thefts. Last week, Tuzzio says Filpovic ventured into her store and decided to steal a bronze dog statue valued at almost $3,000. “He came in through the backdoor, took it, and walked out,” said Tuzzio.

But this wasn’t Tuzzio’s first time seeing this man, in fact, she says he came into the store a week before the theft. “We approached him and he had that object in his hand and said he was from Miami and that he was a vet relocating here,” she said. “He had just put his dog down of 12 years, and I guess that reminded him of his dog. He cried.”

She believed his story until she says he returned to steal the statue.

“It’s disheartening,” said Tuzzio. “You want to believe the best in everybody that’s for sure. You want to always believe the best but over the years I’ve learned that’s just not always the case. You have to be on guard.”

Tuzzio had Filpovic’s picture plastered on the front and back door of her store before police arrested him.

Franklin Police say he was captured thanks to tips from the community. A release from the department states the bronze dog statue has been returned to the owner as well.

⏩ Read today’s top stories on wkrn.com

Tuzzio says she has plans to add more cameras and has hired security to watch the back door and circle her store on the weekends.

Filpovic is free after posting a $1,000 bond. He has a court date set for Nov. 10.