13 puppies were stolen from Bill’s Pet & Aquarium on Tuesday.
MANCHESTER, NH – Four people will be charged with puppy-napping after they smashed their way into a pet shop at East Side Plaza on Dec. 16 and walked away with 13 puppies, police said.
>Related arrest story: 13 puppies = $5,105 and felony charges for 4 alleged puppy thieves
A motorist passing by Bill’s Pet and Aquarium, 893 Hanover Street, at 6:50 a.m. called police to report the front door glass of the pet store was smashed. Bill Sturgeon, the shop owner, told police that 13 puppies were stolen from the shop. A short time later police descended on a home just up the street, 715 Lake Ave., where 13 puppies were recovered safely.
Police said as they were investigating the burglary at the pet shop, a woman from a Lake Avenue residence flagged down an officer and said there were several dogs in her house which weren’t hers.
Neighbor Paul Manning said he woke up to see police chasing teenagers in Stevens Park across the street. He said one of the teens, a female, lives at the residence with her grandmother.
“[The police officer] ran across the road and I heard him yell to the kid, ‘put the dog down,’ and before you know it there was four kids on the ground and a dozen cruisers here,” Manning said. “You don’t mess with the Manchester Police.”
Manning said the teenagers walked the “hot dogs” up the street and into the house, which is about a seven-minute walk from the pet store, a quarter-mile away.
“The grandmother was sleeping. I guess maybe they thought she wouldn’t notice there were 13 puppies in the house?” Manning said.
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Sgt. Brian O’Keefe said all four people are in custody: Victor Morina, 17; Samara Massey, 18; Curtis Massey, 17; and Ian Forsberg, 17, all of Manchester, NH. All four face felony charges as the total value of the stolen puppies was estimated at $5,105.
A woman arrived at the residence while police were still inside and said she was looking for her daughter.
“They said they have my daughter in one of these cruisers,” the woman said, who then walked into the lower level of the Lake Street home.
Minutes later, several Manchester Police officers assisted in carrying the puppies out from the home to a waiting Animal Control van.
Police officers scanned the puppies for identification chips before placing them inside the crates.
Officer Beau Bernard was holding a beagle puppy close to his chest. The puppy looked up at Bernard, who was trying to calm the puppy. “Oh, your little heart’s racing, isn’t it?” he said.