Tampa Police replace family's stolen Christmas presents, dog sti - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Police replace family's stolen Christmas presents, dog still missing

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After hearing about the burglary, police officers and dispatchers chipped in and replaced the gifts. Photo courtesy Tampa Police Dept. After hearing about the burglary, police officers and dispatchers chipped in and replaced the gifts. Photo courtesy Tampa Police Dept.
Burglars stole this dog named "Honey". Photo courtesy Tampa Police Dept. Burglars stole this dog named "Honey". Photo courtesy Tampa Police Dept.
Melody Russell and her children. Melody Russell and her children.
The gifts purchased by Tampa Police Dept. employees. The gifts purchased by Tampa Police Dept. employees.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Tampa Police Department employees are going out of their way to help a family whose Christmas was nearly ruined by thieves.

The thieves burglarized the family's home on N. 50th St. on Monday.

Melody Russell says she returned home from work to find that thieves had wrecked her house and stole all of the Christmas presents for her two children, ages five and seven, plus the family's 12-week-old puppy, Honey.

"I couldn't believe it," Russell said. "Everything was gone."

The worst, Russell said, was the missing puppy. "My daughter cried and cried."

Police searched for the dog in the neighborhood, but had no luck.

"While the presents were replaced, the thing that matters most to the children is the dog," said TPD Spokesperson Andrea Davis.

TPD has released a photo of Honey, with the hope that someone might recognize the dog and call authorities.

Related: Happy holiday homecoming for Tampa Bay troops

After hearing about the burglary, police officers and dispatchers chipped in and replaced the gifts. Dispatchers and the officer working the case showed up at her house at midnight with a sack of Christmas presents.

"I couldn't believe it," said Russell. "It was amazing."

If you have information about the burglars or the missing dog, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS or report online at www.crimestopperstb.com

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