A Cambridge pet owner is relieved to be reunited with his dog, but not before the dognapping was caught on his security camera in broad daylight.
Dog owner Brandon Kecser said it happened on Sunday just before 5 p.m. Kecser said he leashed up Polar, his large 7-month-old Pyrenees pooch, and left him outside for about 10 minutes while he was inside the home preparing dinner.
“I came outside and he was not here,” Kecser said.
Polar poses on the lawn of his Cambridge home on August 30, 2023. (CTV News/Heather Senoran)
CAUGHT ON CAMERA
At first he thought Polar somehow got loose and ran away, so he checked his security tapes to see which way he went. Instead he was shocked to see two people who appear to be luring his dog away from Kecser’s yard.
“You can hear them trying to call him and say ‘hey, come here, come here.’ There was two of them,” he said.
The person in the foreground of the security video was visiting a different resident in the duplex and doesn’t know Kescer.
Security video appears to show two people lure the dog away. (Submitted/Brandon Kecser)
Kecser said Polar’s collar was gone, too, so he believed someone unhooked him from his leash. A second security video shows two people walking away with Polar.
“It’s the audacity that someone did that in daylight as well,” he said.
Polar was bred and adopted from Europe. Kecser and his wife consider Polar a member of his family.
“So they kidnapped my kid essentially,” Kecser said.
RESCUE GROUP HELPS
Kecser said he called his mother, who called the volunteer-run group Ground Search and Rescue KW.
With the help of residents in the area, the group said he was spotted nearby.
Kescer walked about a kilometer down Main Street in Cambridge, and sure enough he heard a familiar bark at a window of an apartment building.
“And I had called his name, and he tried to paw at the glass to get out. And, so that’s what I called 911,” said Kescer, who was reunited with his dog less than three hours from when he went missing.
Tina Daquano is one of the volunteers from the group who helped. She said they’ve only had about a dozen stolen dog cases since they started in 2015, but one is too many.
“I was very shocked when I saw the video,” Daquano said. “We’re so happy that we can say that the dog was found safe.”
Polar the dog is reunited with his Cambridge owner. (CTV News/Heather Senoran)
The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) confirm they are investigating after receiving a report about a stolen dog over the weekend in Cambridge.
According to Kecser, he heard a suspect was arrested and charged, but police were unable to confirm those details.
Kecser said he heard that the person or people who stole Polar, took his picture and were trying to sell the dog within minutes of stealing him.
“If we hadn’t found that dog within an hour or two, who knows where it would have been,” Kecser said.
FAMILY ON EDGE
Kecser said it makes him feel uneasy that this happened on his property. He said he will be buying more security cameras moving forward.
“It has put this fear of feeling unsafe now unnecessarily just because of that,” Kecser said.
After a few days of being back home with his family, Polar is back to his normal and happy self.
“Not even realizing the chaos that happened,” Daquano said.
But Polar’s owner admitted that he is a little more reluctant to go up to strangers.
Polar with his owner and the volunteer who helped find him on August 30, 2023. (CTV News/Heather Senoran)“A lot more skittish around people now. Barks a lot when people come near. He never used to. He used to walk right up like as you can see in the video,” he said.
His family said they will not leave Polar alone outside anymore, even just for a few minutes. And they’ll keep Polar on an even shorter leash to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
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