Dogs
Thieves steal family’s dog but they don’t know neighbor is watching
The family's neighbors weren't going to let the woman get away with her crime.
Jenny Brown
11.22.21

The Haskett family of Sudbury, Massachusetts, loves their dog Partner. And so, when Partner was stolen, the family was crushed. Thankfully, though, thanks to their security cameras and some watchful neighbors, the story has a happy ending.

The story began when a woman stopped to pet Partner.

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Home security footage shows a woman in a light blue jacket walking by the Hasketts’ home around 3:50 p.m.

She stops briefly to pet a dog, Partner, in the Hasketts’ front yard, who is leashed to a tree. Minutes later, the family brings Partner inside, lock the door, and leaves their home.

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The woman from earlier reappears at the Haskett residence multiple times, at first alone around 5:39 p.m., and then again, only this time she is accompanied by an unidentified man.

They use a neighboring apartment building to gain access to the back parking lot.

The woman then attempts to break into the Haskett family’s backdoor but fails. At 5:47 p.m., the woman returns to the front of the property and is approached by another unidentified younger man.

The woman and the teen boy approach the front of the property again, leaving the view of the cameras.

Within minutes, the pair reemerges with Partner and simply walk away.

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After returning home only to realize that Partner was gone, the Hasketts frantically took to Facebook, posting pictures of their dog Partner and asking for neighbors to keep an eye out.

Neal Haskett believes that the woman broke their front window, because, during the footage taken, several people glance over at the front of their house as they walk by.

Northern Life, the Sudbury community newspaper, shared Partner’s photo on social media. By the next day, dozens of tips from neighbors and Sudbury locals said to have seen Partner being walked by a woman matching the description of the same woman from the home security footage.

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Miraculously, the Hasketts were able to locate this woman simply by driving around where neighbors had claimed to witness her and Partner.

After stopping and detaining her, the Hasketts quickly phoned the police to help deal with the confrontation. The woman would not admit to breaking into the family’s property but rather claimed that she had “rescued” the dog.

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The woman, identified as Heather Zeffer, was arrested and charged with breaking and entering, theft, and possession of property obtained by crime and mischief.

Despite the short amount of time spent away from home, the Hasketts said it was still a ‘very emotional homecoming’. Thanks to a dedicated community newspaper and some watchful neighbors, Partner was happily reunited with his family!

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We’re so glad Partner is back with his family who loves him.

If you want to learn more about this story, check out the video below.

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By Jenny Brown
hi@sbly.com
Jenny Brown is a senior writer at Shareably. She is based in San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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