Sections

Bark back! Stolen dog returned to owner

for The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

A grief-stricken Windsor Terrace woman was reunited with her beloved Maltese pup on Wednesday — a full week after thieves broke into her apartment and stole the only valuable that mattered: her dog.

Pam Willke’s 8-year-old pooch Samantha was returned to her at the 72nd Precinct stationhouse in a tearful reunion that ended a bizarre, week-long mystery that began when thieves raided her 16th Street apartment on Jan. 23.

“It was the worst thing they could have taken,” Willke said. “I’d rather they had taken everything else and left Samantha.”

The robbers had struck sometime between 9 am and 7 pm, when Willke, an administrative assistant with the Economic Development Corporation, was at work. Cops knew that the dog had been stolen, and was not merely missing, because the thief had also taken the pup’s yellow carrier.

For two days, a panicked Willke put up flyers all over the neighborhood and contacted the local media.

At the same time, sisters Julissa and Shavonne Bermudez, 23 and 19, of Flatbush, were shopping on the Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn — miles away from the crime scene — when a man offered to sell them a dog. Unaware that the canine was stolen property, they bought Samantha for $650.

But on Monday, Shavonne Bermudez saw a TV news broadcast about Samantha — whom she had already renamed Dior — about the dog’s theft.

“I turned to her and said, ‘Samantha,’ and she looked right up at me,” Bermudez said.

The next day, the sisters returned Samantha to 72nd Precinct cops. When police called Willke that afternoon, she bolted out of the office to reclaim her pooch.

“I’m a pet lover so I had no problem bringing her back,” Shavonne said. “Taking someone’s pet is like taking someone’s child.”

Now that Willke has the dog back, she is taking precautions to keep the dog safe. Vets have implanted Samantha with a microchip so she could be traced back to Willke if she is ever lost or stolen.

She also plans to install bars on her kitchen window.

On Wednesday evening, Willke met with the Bermudez sisters to thank — and reimburse — them.

“I’m hoping they can find another animal to love,” Willke said. “Just not this one.”

Cops have no leads in the mystifying crime, but said such crimes are unusual. Experts say people do steal dogs for many reasons, including breeding, resale, anger at the dog’s owner, and for use as bait in dog fighting.

Breeding was obviously out because Samantha is spayed.

“It was probably just some guy who thought he could make some money,” said one officer at the 72nd Precinct. “And he did.”

Around Windsor Terrace, Willke’s neighbors, who had helped post hundreds of flyers around the neighborhood, were overjoyed.

“I own a dog,” said Joe Coppa. “If something happened to my dog, I’d like my neighbors to help out the same way.”

Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Get our stories in your inbox, free.

Like The Brooklyn Paper on Facebook.

Reader Feedback

delyse from prospect heights says:
I am so glad to hear that you have your dog back. Congratulations. My sister's Maltese was stolen last night in Park Slope. We are devistated right now, but your story gave us hope. Any suggestions as to how you were able to contact the local media, or any other ideas you have that might help us get our dog would be so greatly appreciated.
delysehanson@yahoo.com
Nov. 15, 2008, 10:23 am
richie rich from parkslope says:
i advise everyone should get house alarm and also if you can install a home security with your home computer. its very easy. in fact i used icam with my iphone and it even records motion. its only cost $5 from the itune store.
also, it maybe a good idea to have a community security in parkslope just like they have at Sutton east.
Feb. 14, 2010, 9:44 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

This week’s featured advertisers