Family Welcomes Back Stolen Puppy After Return

Police credit work of multiple departments and social media for return of dog to Samuelson family of Millbury, Mass.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NECN
    Katie, stolen three weeks earlier from the Samuelsons in Millbury, Massachusetts, was returned to her family.

    Fifteen-month-old puppies Katie and Khloe pick up right where they left off.

    Three weeks ago, Katie was stolen when the Samuelsons' Millbury, Massachusetts, home was broken into.

    Family Welcomes Back Stolen Puppy

    [NECN] Family Welcomes Back Stolen Puppy After Return
    Lori Samuelson and her family from Millbury, Massachusetts, were excited to reunite with their puppy after police say she was stolen in a home invasion. (Published Monday, Aug 4, 2014)

    The family was reunited with their puppy over the weekend.

    "Huge relief," said Lori Samuelson. "It's just it's a miracle."

    Family pleads for return of puppy stolen in home invasion

    [NECN] Family pleads for return of puppy stolen in home invasion
    Lori Samuelson of Millbury, Mass. says jewelery and birthday gifts were also taken, but all her family wants back is 14-week-old Katie (Published Monday, Jul 14, 2014)

    Millbury Police believe Katie may have been passed around to three different people in the time she was missing. She was eventually found in New Hampshire.

    "I'm sure she's seen things," said Lori Samuelson. "We'll never know what she went through, but I know it wasn't great."

    Police say finding Katie was a group effort. A joint task force of multiple departments met last week, investigating a rash of break-ins.

    Shrewsbury Police recovered jewelry stolen from the Samuelsons' home. Sudbury Police identified a suspect in one of their house breaks as Hector Torres.

    Pictures of a dog on his Facebook page sparked interest in the Millbury case.

    "On that Facebook page, they found the dog, or what looked to be the dog," said Andrea Warpula of Millbury Police.

    Worcester Police officers had seen Katie last week while serving a warrant, but didn't realize she was stolen.

    "Second search warrant was done on that address specifically looking for the puppy," said Warpula.

    When they went back, the puppy was gone, but after following more leads, police eventually found Katie, but no sign of Torres.

    He's now a person of interest and wanted by Millbury Police for questioning.

    "We know he was in possession of the dog, we also know he was in possession of some of the stolen jewelry," said Warpula.

    The Samuelsons say they're grateful for everyone's help bringing their family back together.

    "You know, all this terrible stuff going on, you see in the news and everything," said Eric Samuelson. "Then just a little dog, a little four-pound dog named Katie, brings everybody together."

    "We will be spoiling her rotten for the rest of her life, no question," said Lori Samuelson.