VINELAND, NJ -- "She is like my child. She's been with me for years."
Frank Torres is angry and heartbroken, to say the least, after burglars broke into his Vineland home on Wednesday and stole his big screen TV, laptop and his best friend, his female bull terrier "Katie."
"You could have taken a million dollars from me, it doesn't matter. The dog means a lot to me; it's my best friend. It's my son's best friend," Torres told FOX 29.
Torres arrived home Wednesday right after work and headed straight to the bedroom where his dog Katie usually sleeps on his side of the bed. He panicked when he didn't see the dog and began searching the house. It turns out that not only was the dog gone, but so was her bed and dog bowl.
"To actually take a family pet. It's like having a part of the family taken from you," Torres said. "It's like having your child abducted."
Nicoletta Torres says the thieves also stole the couple's 55-inch flat screen TV and a laptop they normally leave right on the couch.
"I can't even imagine the type of person that this thought would even cross their mind," said Nicoletta Torres.
Vineland Police say there were no signs of forced entry and the Torres' admit they may have left a door unlocked because they have a dog and live in a quiet neighborhood.
Police dusted for fingerprints on a gate and the front door. They are still investigating.
"Just return her safely or, if you're afraid to get in trouble, drop her off at a local shelter," Nicoletta said.
"We really just want the dog back. We really don't care about anything else. Nothing else is important to us," Torres emphasized.
Vineland police report that there have been some burglaries in the area in recent months.
The Torres family says they adopted Katie from the nearby SPCA shelter in Vineland four years ago.
If you have any information on the whereabouts of the dog or the burglars, the Torres family asks that you call the Vineland Police. (856) 691-4111
Great News. Katie has been found! The owners tell us that police have the dog, and they are on their way to pick her up.
More details to come. But here's what we know right now; Police are waiting for warrants for a search of the properties where they believe the dog-nabbing burglary suspect has been hiding out. We'll keep you posted on when Katie gets back home!
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