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Puppy Reunited With Owner After Bucktown Burglary

By Emily Morris | June 20, 2014 8:35am | Updated on June 20, 2014 4:57pm
 A pitbull puppy named Chanel was stolen Thursday in Bucktown.
Puppy Stolen
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BUCKTOWN — A puppy thought to be stolen from her Bucktown home in a burglary Thursday has since been found and safely reunited with her owners, one of the victims of the break-in said Friday.

Nine-month-old pitbull Chanel and an estimated $9,000 worth of shoes, jewelry and clothes were gone after a garden unit in the 2200 block of West Belden Avenue was burglarized, according to Grisely Szwerkolt, who lives in the apartment with her husband and her other pitbull, Rocky.

Szwerkolt, 26, said she had been shocked to arrive home Thursday evening to find her home a mess, her window opened and her puppy gone.

After news of the puppy's disappearance circulated across social media, a Facebook tipster let Szwerkolt know on Friday that he saw a car on the West Side matching the description of the alleged burglers' vehicle — a silver Buick, which had been caught on video by a neighbor's surveillance camera.

According to the tipster, a man in the car was trying to sell the dog, Szwerkolt said.

Szwerkolt, her husband and her brother-in-law went to the area right away and found a man with Chanel who claimed the he had come across the puppy in Bucktown, she said.

After a brief argument, Szwerkolt got her dog back, she said. She filed a report with police, but police could not immediately provide information about the incident.

The break-in was discovered just before 5 p.m. Thursday, said Maria Mariottini, who owns the building and lives in the upstairs unit.

"I heard my tenants screaming," said Mariottini, who called police.

Szwerkolt found Rocky tied up in the yard of the home. She said a door, which she believes was locked, had been opened along with a window.

Both Chanel and 7-year-old Rocky are rescue dogs, Szwerkolt said.

After the incident Thursday evening, neighbors gathered around Szwerkolt and her husband and offered to help.

While Szwerkolt and her neighbors described Chanel as friendly and "adorable," Rocky is a more aggressive pitbull. Neither Szwerkolt nor Mariottini thought Rocky would let a stranger in.

Szwerkolt said the man she saw Friday with her puppy was not someone she knew.

Szwerkolt said she felt "lost without her" before Chanel was found.

While she usually feels safe along her block, Szwerkolt said her car had been stolen not long after she moved in. It was eventually found at a pawn shop, she said.

Mariottini, who has lived in the home for about 20 years, said that she's had one break-in during her time there and characterized the block as fairly safe.

Although Szwerkolt's belongs are still missing, "I got the most important thing," she said.

Chanel seemed a bit scared on Friday but otherwise appeared unharmed, Szwerkolt said.

"She was just happy to be home."

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