Puppy stolen in burglary returned to owner

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A beloved family pet was stolen during a burglary in Ypsilanti, but the story has a happy ending.

Thieves hit an Ypsilanti house stealing a Dodge Stratus and a little puppy named "Watney" at about 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.

"He was just the sweetest little puppy I ever met," said Naseem Rayyan. "We got him as a rescue, and he's been slowly getting nourished back to health. He finally got home and disappeared."

Ypsilanti police believe the Watney may have jumped into the car when the thieves stole it.  But later that day that car was involved in a high-speed chase with Michigan State Police.

The chase ended with the vehicle, slamming into a semi-truck. Three people got away including a person of interest in the home invasion.  But no Watney.

"The owners emailed me pictures of the puppy," said Officer Robert Eggenberger, Ypsilanti police. "With a tip we were able to identify the puppy and we were able to get it."

The break came when police were searching the area and found him.

Rayyan was ecstatic after hearing Watney was safe, sound and heading home with police.

"I started crying and pretty much haven't been able to stop since," he said.

"This guy look familiar?" asked Eggenberger as he carried Watney up to Rayyan.

"It does feel good to return the stolen property, the pet," Eggenberger said. "It helped us tremendously with the investigation."

The police do have a person of interest who will be charged with home invasion, car theft and stealing the dog.

Police won't say where the Watney was found, but the puppy may have provide the best tip. 

"He doesn't bark at home," Rayyan said. "So they found him because he was barking. I don't know what they were doing to him in their house but in all this excitement he didn't make a peep. I'm just happy he's home."