Wellesley residents found it hard to believe that someone would swipe their 8-month-old black lab pup, Ember, from a tether in their front yard during broad daylight. But when the dog went missing during a brief period of time on July 22 the Nissenbaum family contacted the Wellesley Police Department to investigate.
Pet theft “is highly unusual here in Wellesley,” said Wellesley Police Lt. Marie Cleary.
With the cooperation of neighbors in the Redwing Road neighborhood, some of whom shared security camera footage, the police identified a vehicle that had been circling the victim’s home a few times before the disappearance. Officers Derek Harris and Mike Mankavech went door-to-door in search of the evidence, and Harris joined forces with Detective Mark D’Innocenzo to determine the license plate of the vehicle, registered to a Framingham resident.
On Sunday, July 25, Wellesley Police ventured to Framingham and spotted the dog in the suspect’s yard. They worked with Framingham police to recover Ember, arrest one suspect, and identify another who will appear in court at a later date.
Both suspects will be charged with receiving stolen property over $1,200, and conspiracy.
“We are deeply grateful for all of the community support and especially appreciative of the hard work and dedication of the Wellesley Police force. We’re particularly thankful to Officers Harris and Mankavech, and Detective and D’Innocenzo for their quick work in bringing our Ember home safe to us,” said Illana Nissenbaum, who along with her husband Neil had a happy reunion with Ember at the Wellesley Police station on Sunday night.
The whole family came down to the police station to answer questions and present officers with a card and a small token of their appreciation. Talia (13), Aleah (11), and Aaron (9) are just glad to have their family member back. “She’s part of our family,” Talia explained, “Like she was born into our family.”
Everyone is all smiles now, thankful that this event that will surely go down in the Nissenbaum family history books turned out to be formative in the right way. “We’re just happy to have Ember back. We’re not focusing on those who took Ember,” Illana said.
“Ember is guilty of being too cute,” Aaron said.
We believe the penalty for such pups is two treats and a nap. With a face like that, she’ll undoubtedly be one of those cuteness repeat offenders. Keep that one on a short leash.
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