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Stolen bulldog helps lead police to burglary suspects, returns home after 4 years

Maggie the bulldog was stolen from her California family in 2015.
Credit: Sarasota Police Deaprtment

A bulldog has been reunited with her California family after it was taken from them in 2015-- all after quite a suspected crime spree in Sarasota, Florida. 

The Sarasota Police Department said that they were investigating a case after eight homes were burglarized between October 18 and 20 in the Lido Key area. Two people and a bulldog were the identifiers police told residents in the area to look for.

A neighbor called police October 20, 2019 and said they saw someone walking a bulldog that fit the accused burglar's description. Officers checked out the area said they found Tracie Eileen Defee, 52, and Michael Paine, 48, of Sarasota with the bulldog, Maggie. The duo was immediately arrested.

Maggie the bulldog was taken to Sarasota County Animal Services. Officers said a few days later, they were able to track down her chip and found out Maggie was taken from her home in California four years ago.

The Sarasota Police Department made contact with Maggie’s real family and arranged her ride back home. 

On November 18, Maggie was reunited with her family.

Defee faces burglary, trespass, grand theft, and dealing in stolen property. Paine faces trespass and burglary charges. They have since bonded out of jail.

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