Reward offered for Olympian's kite-surfing dog, possibly stolen during competition

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A dog, quite famous for his adventures on the water, has gone missing and his family needs help to find him.

St. Pete police actually believe someone stole a Jack Russell terrier, named Zeus, during a kitesurfing competition near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge this weekend.

Cameron Maranenides is 16 and has traveled the globe, kiteboarding for the U.S. in the Olympics. He's now facing one of his hardest obstacles ever - finding his best friend.

"Zeus, he's not just a dog to us. He's like my son. It's a terrible feeling," Maranenides said.

Zeus is trained differently than your average dog. He's been featured in magazines and TV shows because, with a little help from dad, he can kiteboard, too.

Sunday morning, the family was by the Skyway Bridge for a competition. While Cameron and his dad were on the water, Zeus was with their friends, watching from the tailgate of their truck, where he's trained to stay.

But at some point, he disappeared.

Another kiteboarder said he saw a man in a baseball hat with a mustache drive away with the dog in a gray Toyota Camry.

They didn't think anything of it, because kiteboarders are in a close-knit community. They assumed the mustached man was a family friend.

He wasn't.

St. Pete police are now investigating this as a grand theft case.

Cameron’s dad, Dimitri says the feeling is like losing a close family member.

"Put yourself in our shoes. It's bad, for a person to come and take the dog away. Again, i'm hoping the man who took the dog away did it as a good gesture," he said.

The family has offered a $3,500 reward to have Zeus returned. Anyone with information can contact the family at 919-280-6979 or St. Pete police.

They're hoping it's just a misunderstanding and maybe the man who took Zeus mistakenly thought he was abandoned.

Whether sinister or not, this family does not care. They say they want their best friend home, no questions asked.