Arlington police help family reunite with stolen puppy [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]
(Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 08--ARLINGTON -- A burglar who ransacked the Hancock family's north Arlington home in May took more than pricey electronics and collectible guns.
He also made off with Maggie, an English bulldog puppy the family had brought home less than a week earlier.
Scott Hancock warned his son and daughter that they might never see the puppy again. But on Thursday, more than four months after the burglary, Arlington police called the family with surprising news. Maggie had been found.
After an emotional reunion at the police station last week, Hancock said, Maggie has made a smooth transition back home with her rightful owners.
"A lot of people in the world would say, 'It's just stuff. It's just a dog.' But for us, that is not a dog. That is a family member," Hancock said Tuesday. "To think that five months down the road that they are still doing the things they needed to do -- not just to get through their daily jobs but to really go above and beyond -- is pretty awesome. I'm really glad I live in Arlington. I'm really proud of this police department."
Arlington police say they were surprised to find Maggie still with the suspect, who was arrested after a patrol officer recognized his vehicle from previous burglary reports and made a traffic stop. Reginald McGregor, 29, is being held in the Arlington Jail on drug and burglary charges, with bail set at $51,000.
"Usually when dogs are taken, it's very rare you are able to locate them again," Detective Julia Vecchioni said.
During the traffic stop, police said, they found two stolen iPads in McGregor's car. One was traced to the Hancock family. Officers searched McGregor's north Arlington apartment that night and recovered stolen weapons, televisions, computers, jewelry, coins and Maggie.
"It appears that he has kept most of the items that were taken in those offenses, which is pretty rare considering some of them occurred as long as four months ago," Vecchioni said, adding that McGregor has been linked to four home burglaries.
Maggie, now more than twice the size she was when she was stolen, appears to have been well cared for while away from her family. Hancock said his computer, also recovered from McGregor's apartment, contained photos that the man had taken of Maggie.
"He definitely wanted to keep her," Hancock said.
Detective Jennifer Rodriguez said it was gratifying to help the Hancocks recover their dog and some of their possessions.
"You don't have that emotional connection to a piece of property like an iPad. But you love an animal. It's your family," Rodriguez said. "This is one of those cases I will remember for the rest of my life."
Susan Schrock, 817-390-7639 Twitter: @susanschrock
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