February 5, 2014
Stolen Pet Reunited with Owner After Burglary in Washington, DC
When it comes to what burglars steal from homes, there’s no secret: cash, jewelry, electronics, guns, and prescription drugs still top the list. Any non-cash items can usually be turned into cash quickly and easily, which is what the thieves want – and the goal is often to feed a drug habit, which is driving increased home intrusions in many parts of the US. But a report I just read from Washington, DC shows that there is one other thing that a burglar may take: your pet.
A D.C. man has been reunited with his dog after it was stolen in a burglary -- and after he took to News4 and social media, desperate to find her. Eric Peterson said his cockapoo, Margo, was found on Benning Road in northeast Washington Saturday morning, after a tipster saw the dog's picture on News4 or on social media. Police responded and found Margo, as well as some of her belongings, which the burglars had stolen.
Search Goes Viral
News4's Pat Collins told the story of Peterson's break-in and his desperate search for Margo on News4 on Friday. The story was popular on social media, with people sharing posts with the hash tag #FindMargo. "She's my family," Peterson said in the interview, visibly moved by the loss of his pet. "I mean, I don't have any kids, so I wouldn't want to equate my dog with a child, but she's my companion. She's who I come home to."
Background on the Crime
The break-in happened near 14th and D streets in Northeast, near Lincoln Park. The thieves, who apparently broke in through a basement door, took other valuables: The TV, two iPads, a laptop. But they also opened Margo's crate and took the 2 1/2 year old cockapoo that Peterson has had since she was a puppy. They even took one of her leashes from a hook near the front door. Peterson offered a reward of $10,000, no questions asked. It's not yet known if that reward will be paid.
And speaking of what burglars steal, there’s no surprise here: a TV, two iPads, and a laptop. It’s the theft of the dog that was out of the ordinary – although I have been reading more crime reports on pet theft in recent months. And no mention of an alarm system.
I have Dogs, Too…
I know personally just how important pets can be to a family. We moved to DC in 2006, and my wife insisted that we set up at least the fire monitoring portion of our alarm system immediately: as she was quick to point out, our two dogs did not dial 911 very well, and we were both out of the house all day. I have also posted on pets and alarm systems, referencing fire monitoring, and also pet-immune motion detectors, the kind that FrontPoint provides.
What To Do When Your Pet is Stolen
Pet owners are increasingly using a micro-chip embedded under the pet’s skin as a tracking device – the size of a large grain of rice - and these can be very useful. Here’s a link to information on this technology, and some background:
Microchips have been particularly useful in the return of lost pets. They can also assist where the ownership of an animal is in dispute. Animal shelters and animal control centers benefit using microchip identification products by more quickly and efficiently returning pets to their owners. Microchipping is becoming standard at shelters: many require all outplaced animals to receive a microchip, and provide the service as part of the adoption package. Animal-control officers are trained and equipped to scan animals. In addition to shelters and veterinarians, microchips are used by kennels, breeders, brokers, trainers, registries, rescue groups, human societies, clinics, farms, stables, animal clubs and associations, researchers, and pet stores.
For pet owners, these stories are frightening to read. And of course, the best way to deter a burglar in the first place is with a monitored home alarm system. If the perps are not scared away by the loud siren, then the police will be dispatched and deal with them. More and more homes are choosing peace of mind with a home alarm, and that’s where FrontPoint can help. We’re the leader in wireless home security and the #1 ranked home alarm company in the US.
When you’re ready for a home alarm that’s safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat, you’re ready for FrontPoint: no hidden fees, the best interactive, wireless home alarm technology at the best price, and world-class service. And you can have the peace of mind from knowing that your pets are more secure, from fire or theft.