EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Police say a man is in custody after stealing a car with two dogs inside this morning in East Haven.
Rascal and Darius are now reunited with their owners, who feared the worst after a man drove off in their car with the dogs inside. The life of the dogs will go on like nothing happened, but their owners won’t forget the stress they went through on Sunday.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Franco Palange said.
The incident was all caught on a surveillance camera.
It was 6 in the morning. Franco Palange went to the local Dunkin’ Donuts in East Haven to pick up coffee like he always does. During the 45 seconds he was in the shop, a man stole his car and drove off.
“By the time I came out, the car was gone,” Franco Palange said.
The guy didn’t just take the car. He also took the two beagles inside. Franco immediately called 911 and his wife, Lucia.
“I was like keep the car, I don’t care, burn the car, sell the car, take it down for parts, but give me my dogs,” Lucia said.
Seven hours later, they got word from the police that they arrested the man and the dogs were found, following a lengthy chase that ended on the railroad tracks in Milford.
The Palanges recently adopted the dogs from a shelter during the pandemic, and they’ve become more than pets. They’re family.
“My life, my lifeline, my protection,” Lucia said about the dogs.
While they wish they didn’t leave the vehicle unlocked, they’re grateful to be back with their dogs.
“Well we’re leaving the AC on because it’s hot, they’re okay, we do this every day,” Lucia said. “Lesson learned the hard way there.”
This marks the second incident in recent days that someone stole a car with dogs inside.