Online dating is the gift that keeps on giving, but only if we’re talking about horrible dating stories. There have been a lot of those since the Internet became the primary way we meet potential suitors, but few are as jaw-droppingly bad as the woman this Thursday whose date stole both her television and her dog while they were in the middle of a date.

According to NYmag.com, the woman said it was her first date with a man named Joel. Everything was going fine. It was actually going well enough that she brought Joel back to her place. She stepped out of the room for a moment, and when she came back Joel had carried off both a giant, $3,000 flat-screen Samsung TV and her Yorkshire terrier, Violet. Taking a television set is one thing, but stealing a person’s dog is just unconscionable.

Police spent the next day following up on leads, which included Joel’s online dating profile. In the meantime, Joel apparently had a change of heart, because the woman called police at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning to tell them that she’d found her TV in her yard, and Violet the Yorkie was tied to it and in apparently perfectly good health after her adventure.

It’s great that the woman got her dog back, but having one’s pet stolen is enough to put a person off the Internet forever. This story has a happy ending (the woman got her dog back and never dated Joel again), but it is still even worse than the tale of the woman whose OK Cupid date got so upset when she wouldn’t go home with him that he hijacked her OK Cupid profile and started pretending to be her and sending weird texts to her friends. (Somehow he did not win her back.)

Ugh. We’re going to go hug all our cats and go back to asking our aunts if they know any nice guys. Pet-stealers not welcome.

(Photo: Shutterstock)