Burglars are still stealing pets. While I’ve seen these disturbing articles before, the trend seems to be increasing. My last post on this topic described a burglary in Bamberg, South Carolina, where the thieves were caught, and the dog returned to its owner. However, two recent pet-related crimes did not end so happily. The first story is from Glendale, California, a northern suburb of Los Angeles.
Michelle Reiter lost $4,000 in cash, a 32-inch TV and a laptop computer when her Glendale home was burglarized May 7. But also stolen that day was something far more valuable — her 11-year-old teacup Yorkshire terrier, Sophie. Since that time she has been frantically searching for Sophie, not only because she’s her greatest love, but because Sophie needs periodic medication.
The Details of the Crime
Sophie was reported stolen after burglars entered Reiter’s home between through a rear bathroom window and ransacked the inside, according to Glendale Police Department reports. “She is my baby,” said Reiter, who considers the three-pound dog her child because she doesn’t have any kids. Soon after the burglary, Reiter posted fliers throughout the neighborhood asking for help. She suspects that Sophie is scared and barking due to heightened tension.
Police Rule Out Connection to Gang-Related Burglaries
Reiter has yet to turn up any leads on her dog’s whereabouts. “I have no idea who could have done it,” she said. Glendale police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said detectives don’t have any information on the burglary suspect(s). Detectives have ruled out any connection to a recent spate of residential burglaries in the area, in which of a gang of thieves targeted affluent neighborhoods in Glendale and the Los Angeles region, Lorenz said. The thieves, made up of South Los Angeles gang members, mostly stole cash, jewelry, electronics and firearms. Dog-napping, Lorenz said, hasn’t been a part of their operation.
Deb and Tom Klosterman said they don’t care about the television, laptop or jewelry that was stolen. They just want to know where their dog is. “Kids, pets — they should be safe inside, and they weren’t,” Deb Klosterman said.
Another Dog Disappeared
When Tom Klosterman returned home, he found that their front door had been kicked in. He said his first thought went to the couple’s two dachshunds, Sophie and Sadie. It took a while, but Sophie eventually emerged from a hiding place. Sadie was gone, and the Klostermans are convinced she was stolen. “Sadie is not a dog to run away. In fact, she doesn’t like passing the threshold on the door,” Tom Klosterman said. The Klostermans have spent the past week searching and calling every veterinarian in Palm Beach County, hoping someone has turned her in. “Just bring her back,” Deb Klosterman said. “Keep the stuff. I don’t care. Just bring my baby back.”
We know exactly what burglars like to steal, and it would be a shame if the list were expanded to include pets on a more frequent basis. It’s bad enough losing your cash, jewelry, and electronics, without missing a pet that has in many cases become a member of the family – notice in both stories above the owners refer to the dog as if it’s a child, not a pet.
I’m well aware how important pets can be to a family. When we moved to DC in 2006, my wife insisted that we set up at least the fire monitoring portion of our home alarm system immediately: as she was quick to point out, our two dogs do not dial 911 very well, and we were both out of the house all day. I’ve also written about pets and alarm systems, referencing fire monitoring and also pet-immune motion sensors, the kind that FrontPoint provides.
The best outcome would be for police to catch these burglars, find the dogs, and return them to their owners. Chances are a monitored alarm system would have prevented both of these dog thefts, but it appears neither family had taken this wise precaution. With a burglary happening every 14 seconds in the US, it’s more important than ever to protect your home and family. That’s why FrontPoint is so committed to spreading the word – about wireless home alarm systems that are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat. We specialize in cellular monitoring and interactive services, including advanced video features – one more reason why we are recognized as the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US. Your pet is definitely worth the small investment. Why not check out FrontPoint – now?