And act of revenge by a former student...
I received a very panicky call one night. It was 11:30 PM and I have learned that these
calls are usually emergencies so I generally take them. Most likely a dog just went missing or has been hit
by a car and they can't find her or as in Roscoe's case... has just been stolen.
family first entered the yard after returning from work, they knew immediately something was terribly wrong. In their
fenced back yard was Roscoe's tether line neatly circled nearby. Roscoe was no where to be seen. Right away the family
knew someone had stolen Roscoe as he could not have got off his long tether, (a temporary fix since the little Houdini
now made a practice of digging under the fence while everyone was away at work and school). A quick search of the
yard, and Roscoe's collar with tags was found fastened carefully to the gate where anyone could see it. Roscoe
did not attach his collar to the gate... the friendly little beagle had been abducted and whoever had done it wanted to make
it clear that the dog had been taken.
A quick sweep of the neighborhood
revealed no clues lead or sightings. Roscoe had vanished.
After reviewing the case, I queried all the family members to see if they knew of anyone that was angry and
had the capacity to plan and carry out this type of crime. At first everyone said no but the next day, Mary called
me and said they had not considered this at first but now realized that earlier in the week, a strange call had come
from one of her husband's past students. They felt this might be the clue we needed.
Three days earlier, John, a teacher, had received a call from
a former student, Jerry. The young man had left high school five years earlier and had since lead a troubled
life. His call to his former teacher was to tell him that he had ruined his life and that he held him responsible for
all the bad things that had transpired since the young man had left school. The call was very troubling to the high school
teacher and he felt bad for Jerry but did not really see how he had been responsible for the boys wayward path and he
told him so. Jerry became angry and said he would get back at his former teacher and hung up. John now felt that this
call probably had something to do with Roscoe's disappearance.
I told John and Mary to call the police and file a police report explaining the call, threats and
what had transpired. They were very fortunate as the officer who came out to take the report was a dog lover and
he took the case seriously. This officer would be the catalyst for Roscoe's recovery. After taking the report, the officer
ran Jerry's history and found that he was on probation and living with his parents. He contacted Jerry through
his parents notifying him of the dogs abduction. Jerry claimed he knew nothing about the dog. The officer told
Jerry he would contact his probation officer and let him know about Jerry's call to the teacher and what had happened after.
John then decided to contact Jerry's parents himself and let them know what had happened to he and his family after receiving
the call from Jerry. Jerry's parents assured John that their son would not have taken their dog because Jerry loved animals.
John then let them know that he had hired a private investigator to get to the bottom of it all. He told Jerry's
parent that the investigator was bringing specially trained tracking dogs that would be able to tell
where Roscoe had went and if he had ever been in Jerry's car or on their property.
hours later: Roscoe was found twenty five miles away... wandering on the street. He was less then a block from
the manufacturing facility where Jerry's father worked. It was clear to all, that Jerry had in fact taken
the dog and kept him. His parents most likely did not know the dog he brought home belonged to his former teacher
until they received the call from the police officer. John's call right after that had frightened them as he
let them know that the tracking dogs would go right to their house if Roscoe was there. Not wanting their son
to go back to jail, Jerry's father took Roscoe to work with him and turned him loose. Roscoe was found within
15 minutes of the beginning of Jerry's father's shift.
No one was ever charged and the
case was closed after Roscoe's recovery.