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Burglars are Stealing Pets, Too

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December 5, 2012
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Burglars are Stealing Pets, Too

It’s not just cash, jewelry, and electronics that burglars steal – they may take your pet as well. And while I’ve seen these disturbing articles before, the trend seems to be increasing. My previous post on this topic described a burglary in Bamberg, South Carolina, where the thieves were caught, and the dog returned to its owner. However, several recent pet-related crimes did not end so happily. The first story is from San Jose, California, at the base of San Francisco Bay.

Burglary rates have been spiking all over San Jose, and it escalated in the public's consciousness Wednesday after a city leader publicized the theft of a young girl's puppy in a home burglary. Marissa Mabanag, 10, has offered the contents of her piggy bank to add to a $6,000 reward pooled by the city's police and firefighters' unions as well as City Councilman Ash Kalra, who grew up in the South San Jose neighborhood where Meeko -- a 6-month-old reddish brown Yorkie-Shih Tzu mix, or "Shorkie" -- was taken Monday.

Heartbreak for Any Family to Lose a Pet

"She wants to give all her money. She just wants her doggy back," said Michael Mabanag, Marissa's father. “This is what's happening out in the neighborhood and community," Councilman Kalra said. Burglaries in the district have jumped 53 percent in the first six months of 2012, compared with the year before.

Meeko was nowhere to be found after Michael Mabanag came home Monday afternoon to an open garage, shattered rear sliding-glass door, a slew of pried cabinets, and an array of missing electronics, purses and bicycles. "The first thing, I was calling for the dog," said Michael Mabanag, an IT specialist for Applied Materials whose brother is a San Jose police officer. "It was one of the worst days of my life. How do you break that to your daughter?"

Another Case of Pet Theft – From Pueblo, Colorado

A home was burglarized in Southern Colorado and police say the crooks got away with more than possessions; they took off with the family pet. Angelica McClure and her daughter are putting up missing puppy posters all around the city. But their little Chihuahua, Rico didn't wander from the yard, he was stolen from inside their home. "They didn't just take our stuff, they took a part of our family, “McClure explained." He was given as a gift to our daughter.”

The suspects broke into their home last Friday through the basement window on Cascade Avenue, north of downtown Pueblo. McClure came home on her lunch break to let Rico outside and soon realized something wasn't right. “I ran into the bedroom and noticed our puppy and his crate were gone." The suspects stole several electronics, rifled through jewelry and then took off with little Rico. But McClure says they are not giving up until they find Rico and bring him back home. Police say the number of day-time burglaries is on the rise when people are away at work.

And a Third – from Albany, Oregon

An Albany family is still rattled after their home was burglarized Monday afternoon. But what's worse, the thief took off with the family dog and python and won't give them back. The Stradley's spent Wednesday night knocking door to door, handing out fliers of their little dog Jazzy. The three-year-old Chihuahua has been missing since Monday.

"The house was trashed. First thing I noticed was the dog was missing," said father Daniel Stradley. Police said the thief stole $60, the children's Nintendo and the family dog. 'I'm upset to say the least. You steal something from somebody but you don't steal somebody's pet," Stradley added.

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 – I read in many of these stories that the owners refer to the dog as if it’s a family member, 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 all three of these dog thefts, but it appears not one of the families 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?

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