TPD Replace Family's Stolen Gifts, But Dog Still Missing

Dec 25, 2013

Members of Tampa Police Squad 204, who, along with Tampa Police dispatchers, bought new gifts to replace the ones a burglar took from a local family.
Credit Tampa Police Department

A burglar may have played the Grinch to a Tampa family before police officers and dispatchers took on the role of surrogate Santas - but the family's dog is still missing.

The Tampa Bay Times reports someone broke into Melody Russell's rental home Monday and stole about 20 Christmas presents for her two children, along with a laptop and TV. Police officers and dispatchers replaced the gifts, but the family's 12-week-old Shih Tzu, Honey, is still missing.

Five-year-old Marcus Garcia holds Honey, the family's 12-week-old Shih Tzu, that is still missing after a burglar broke into the family's Tampa home.
Credit Tampa Police Department

It's not clear if the burglar took the white dog or if she ran away in fear, but Russell's 7-year-old daugher, Marissa, had a message if someone took her pet.

"Make sure you take care of her," Marissa said at the family's home Tuesday afternoon. "You feed her, you take her for walks, you clean up after her and love her like she's your family."

Police have no suspects in the break-in. People with information about Honey or the burglary can call Tampa Police at 813-231-6130 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-833-8477.