Dog caught ‘red-pawed’ with stolen goods

An auburn-coloured golden retriever (a.k.a. “Red,” “Thief,” and “The Suspect”) was caught red-handed, er, red-pawed, at 12:25 p.m. on Wednesday surrounded by plunder he had been looting from his Third Avenue East neighborhood for at least several weeks.
Recovered from the property of the “Midnight Blanket Bandit” were several dog blankets and a cedar-filled dog bed that belonged to Dean Cowman’s black Labrador retriever, Ruger.
Cowman said there also were children’s toys, a pair of blue jeans, a baseball cap, a girl’s jacket, and other boosted booty found in the yard.
After several weeks of frustration, Cowman reported the missing items last week to the police—an act that eventually was reported in The Daily
Journal, giving his friends hours of endless entertainment at his expense.
But remaining doggedly determined to catch the thief, Cowman erected a motion-activated hunter’s camera last weekend and took two night’s worth of
basic black photography.
Only momentarily did Cowman see a dog fitting “Red’s” description running through his backyard on videotape. Still, on Saturday night, another blanket went missing.
Cowman said he received a tip that items matching the description of his missing dog blankets and pillow had been spied in a local backyard. He went over to take a look, saw his property, and called Falls police officer Willie Kostiuk, who was at the department having lunch.
Kostiuk and another officer went to the scene to help Cowman get Ruger’s blankets back.
“The owner was very apologetic,” Cowman said. “She said she had no idea where all this stuff was coming from.”
The owner, Cowman added, admitted her dog had been escaping under the fence to pursue a life of wickedness.
Cowman said he and the officers made the contrite canine confess to the crime spree.
“We scolded him and he apologized; he said he was bored,” Cowman said, laughing. “He seemed like a nice dog.”
In the meantime, Cowman’s pooch is now happy to have his warm fuzzies returned.
“Ruger was very relieved and pleased to have his dog blankets and pillow back,” Cowman said.