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Big Issue Vendor's Dog Stolen While Owner Went To Buy Food

A Big Issue vendor has had her beloved dog stolen, in a cruel and opportunistic theft outside an Adelaide supermarket.

Ruth Reidy and her chihuahua Fifi are a regular sight in Rundle Mall, where she's been selling The Big Issue for years.

Reidy left her loyal companion in the foyer of the Woolworths store for just two minutes yesterday afternoon, when she went to buy some food.

By the time she returned, Fifi was gone. The pram she lives in was found dumped nearby a short time later.

"Usually people are just there to say hello and pat Fifi," Reidy said, as she returned to the Mall today with a sign begging for her dogs return.

"This has happened now... And I just don't know why... It's been a living hell since then."

CCTV has been released of a woman carrying a dog that police say is Fifi, across a busy road not far from where she disappeared.

In a statement, Woolworths said it had given police its CCTV, in the hope Fifi can be returned.

A reward is on offer, and Reidy says she won't ask any questions as long as she gets Fifi back.

It comes less than a week after the beloved pet rat of a homeless man in Sydney's CBD was stolen. 

Lucy the rat -- who is well-known among commuters -- was taken while her owner used a nearby restroom.

Police have released CCTV images of the woman they believe took the animal.